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Leiden University to evaluate Dutch counterterrorism legislation

A research team from Leiden University, in cooperation with Bureau Boekhoorn Sociaal-Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek en Advies (BBSO), is to evaluate Dutch counterterrorism legislation.

The evaluation research is a direct response to a request made by Dutch parliamentarian Mirjam Bikker. In her request, Bikker states the importance of an evaluation of the counterterrorism legislation (hereafter CT legislation) with a focus on its coherence and impact on the local level. Through an interdisciplinary approach combining legal and empirical research, the team intends to provide insight into these aspects of the Dutch CT-legislation. The study was commissioned by the National Coordinator for Terrorism and Security (NCTV) and the Ministry of Justice and Security (Ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid).

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In recent years, legislation aimed at combatting terrorism has been implemented at various moments. This legislation was often prompted by new manifestations of terrorism, and both criminal law and administrative law have been used to address these new forms of terrorism. Despite the fact that part of this new legislation has been evaluated at some point after its implementation, an evaluation aimed at creating a comprehensive overview of the coherence and interplay between the laws is still missing.

The first part of the study will focus on creating an overview of the various CT laws and the way in which these relate to each other. The legal analysis will pay extra attention to the extent to which the different laws and measures overlap in terms of content and whether this could potentially cause difficulties in practice. The second part of the study will subsequently focus on the question how the different CT measures play out in practice according to relevant actors on the national and local level: what challenges do they encounter in the execution of these measures, and how to coordinate between different actors involved? In line with earlier recommendations from the ‘Commissie Evaluatie Antiterrorismebeleid’ (2009) the report will reflect both, not only on the issue of mutual coherence but also on the necessity and potential (side) effects of the legislative measures.

The team consists of Professor Maartje van der Woude (Professor of Law and Society, UL), drs. Paul Boekhoorn (Bureau Boekhoorn Sociaal-Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek en Advies  (BBSO)), Professor Jeroen ten Voorde (Professor of Criminal- and Criminal Procedure, UL), and Anne Jonker (research assistant, UL).

The study will be completed by the end of 2022.

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