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The (Political) Pursuit of Victim Voice:
(Comparative) Observations on the Dutch Draft on the Adviesrecht


Renée Kool ,

Utrecht University School of Law
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Georgianna Verhage

law clerk at the District Court of Midden-Nederland in Utrecht
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Since contemporary victims’ policy features the pursuit of procedural justice, the criminal justice authorities have introduced procedural arrangements to serve victims’ voice. Western states use (some form of) Victim Impact Statements, providing crime victims with room to inform the courts about the consequences of the crime. Nevertheless, victim voice is contested since it creates an imagery of bias and might cause repeated victimisaton. Indeed, victimologists point at the heterogeneity of victims’ needs, stating that the topical focus on victim voice executed during trial proceedings is one-sighted. Notwithstanding this critique, the Dutch legislator has recently lodged a proposal to introduce a so-called adviesrecht, encompassing the full scheme of the court’s decision-making (guilt and truth finding). Since the Dutch use non-bifurcated trial proceedings, the adviesrecht might have serious repercussions for the standard of a fair trial. A comparative (legal) perspective on the (use of) the Victim Impact Statement and the Victim Statement of Opinion as used in the United Stated of America appears helpful to expose the potential repercussions of extended victim voice in terms of procedural justice.
How to Cite: Kool, R. and Verhage, G., 2014. The (Political) Pursuit of Victim Voice:
(Comparative) Observations on the Dutch Draft on the Adviesrecht. Utrecht Law Review, 10(4), pp.86–99. DOI:
Published on 20 Nov 2014.
Peer Reviewed


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