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Procedural Justice Seen to Be Done:The Judiciary’s Press Guidelines in the Light of Publicity and Procedural Justice

Author:

Leonie van Lent

Utrecht University School of Law
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Abstract

As in other jurisdictions, the Dutch judiciary has been confronted with public unease about criminal justice and is trying to enhance its legitimacy. System and culture however contain hardly any opening for public involvement in criminal justice, and this implication of the publicity principle traditionally encounters disapproval. In its aim of (re)gaining confidence in the criminal justice system, publicity intertwines procedural fairness and public influence: it requires that the (perception of the) lay public is taken into account when conducting proceedings and phrasing the judgment, thereby ensuring visible conformity with publicly-held fairness standards and thus a perception of legitimacy by participants and the public alike. Procedural justice research confirms these notions in finding that the perception of proceedings as fair legitimizes the judiciary and the justice system. The judiciary’s wish to enhance transparency – of which the press guidelines (2013) are the most important expression – is therefore essential. Both publicity and the procedural justice concept refer to the procedure as central in legitimization and therefore provide important arguments for allowing the audiovisual registration of criminal proceedings. As system and culture do not change easily, this may lead to more public-minded proceedings and to a shift in the public debate towards procedure.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.295
How to Cite: van Lent, L., (2014). Procedural Justice Seen to Be Done:The Judiciary’s Press Guidelines in the Light of Publicity and Procedural Justice. Utrecht Law Review. 10(4), pp.131–146. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ulr.295
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Published on 20 Nov 2014.
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