The Public Prosecution Service employs around 5,000 people, including some 800 public prosecutors.
Public Prosecution Offices
The Public Prosecution Service is a national organisation divided over ten regions. The organisation’s office (arrondissementsparket) in a given region is located at the district court (rechtbank) serving that region. Every office of this kind is headed by a Chief Prosecutor.
Public Prosecution Office Courts of Appeal
If a convicted person or public prosecutor disagrees with the judgment handed down by the district court, he may lodge an appeal at the court of appeals.
The Public Prosecution Service has a national office to deal with criminal appeals, with locations at the appeal courts in Amsterdam, The Hague, ‘s Hertogenbosch and Arnhem-Leeuwarden.
The public prosecution office at the appeal court in question prosecutes the case anew. The appeal court then hands down a judgment ruling (arrest).
The Public Prosecution Service: a nationwide organisation
The Public Prosecution Service is one nationwide organisation with ten offices at the district courts and four at the appeal courts. It also has a number of organisational units authorised to perform tasks at national level.
National Head Office (Parket-Generaal)
The Public Prosecution Service is headed by the Board of Prosecutors General. They decide on the Netherlands’ investigation and prosecution policy. Together with the organisation’s directors and staff officers, the Board of Prosecutors General constitutes the national head office of the Public Prosecution Service. Other constituent elements are: 1. Bureau for Criminal Law Studies (WBOM), which acts as a knowledge and documentation centre on legal matters for the Board of Procurators General and the other parts of the Public Prosecution Service; 2. Bureau for International Affairs (BI) which acts as a non-operational advisory body to gain more coherence and overview in the field of international matters.
National Office (Landelijk Parket)
The National Public Prosecutors’ Office focuses on international forms of organised crime and crime that undermines society, such as human trafficking, terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering related to organised crime, international war crimes, child pornography, child sex tourism and cybercrime. These serious, and often invisible, forms of crime damage the fabric of society and therefore require a coordinated approach involving partners both within and outside the Public Prosecution Service.
National Office for Serious Fraud, Environmental Crime and Asset Confiscation (Functioneel Parket)
This office is responsible for tackling fraud and environmental offences, and handles complex criminal cases. It also serves as the Public Prosecution Service’s centre of expertise on confiscating proceeds of crime.
Central Processing Office (CVOM)
The Central Processing Office handles virtually all minor offences and traffic cases in the Netherlands. Central Processing deals with anyone who is guilty of drink-driving, speeding or driving without a licence. It makes nationwide agreements with the police concerning road traffic enforcement and assesses whether new legislation concerning the roads, waterways, airways and railways is enforceable.
National Service Centre (DVOM)
The DVOM is a service provider which performs operational management tasks for the Public Prosecution Service in the fields of human resources, finance, information management and facilities management.
National police internal investigations department (Rijksrecherche)
The Internal Investigations Department is part of the Dutch national police but falls under the authority of the Public Prosecution Service. This independent body investigates alleged cases of criminal conduct within the government, such as when a public servant is suspected of a criminal offence like fraud or bribery.
A case may involve a police officer or a staff member at the Public Prosecution Service, but it could equally be a civil servant at central, local or provincial government level who is under investigation. In addition, the Internal Investigations Department is always called in when someone is killed or wounded following the use of firearms by the police. The Department also launches an investigation in the event of a detainee’s death in prison or at a police station.