The Public Prosecution Service (OM) and the courts together make up the judiciary. The Public Prosecution Service decides who has to appear before a court and on what charge. It is the only body that can decide to prosecute someone. Its field of work is criminal law.
The Public Prosecution Service’s main tasks are:
investigating criminal offences
supervising the enforcement of sentences.
During the hearing, the court listens to what the public prosecutor and the defence attorney have to say, and may itself investigate the defendant’s guilt or innocence. The public prosecutor then recommends an appropriate sentence, after which the court gives judgment.
The Public Prosecution Service does not get involved in disputes about dismissals or quarrels between neighbours about, say, overhanging branches. Such matters are dealt with by the civil courts. It only concerns itself with criminal offences, both minor (overtredingen) and serious (misdrijven).
The District Court of The Hague today convicted Yvonne Basebya to a term of imprisonment of 6 years and 8 months for the role she played in the 1990's in the Rwandan Genocide. The Netherlands National Prosecutor's Office is content with the judgment, because it makes clear that perpetrators behind the scenes do not remain unpunished.