The justice sector in the Netherlands comprises criminal, civil, and administrative justice institutions and alternative dispute systems.
In the Netherlands, ‘Paths to Justice’ studies provide insight into the experiences of Dutch citizens with the legal system. These studies show how many and which justiciable problems pertaining to civil and administrative law citizens have encountered, which actions citizens have taken in response to these problems, the results obtained, and their evaluation of legal services and procedures. These studies published by the Research and Documentation Centre of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, have been conducted every five years, with the most recent data covering 2015-2019. There are also data on the landscape of justice problems of small and medium-sized businesses of up to ten employees. Data on criminal problems are perhaps slightly more fragmented.
Below you will find the story of the justice problems in the everyday life of people in the Netherlands. People told us how the problems affect them, what they do to resolve disputes and crimes, and how they experienced the formal and informal justice system.
This is the justice story as the people in The Netherlands encounter and feel it.
A legal problem is a problem that takes place in daily life – a dispute, disagreement or grievance for which there is a resolution in the (formal or informal) law. It does not matter if the individual sees it as legal or whether she took action to resolve it.
The chart shows how many adults in The Netherlands encountered one or more legal problems in the last 4 years.
The map shows where in The Netherlands problems occur. It breaks down the incidence of legal problems per region.
We asked people to tell us about the legal problem which they assess as most serious.
The problems are grouped into categories. For instance, Crime aggregates experiences with property and violent crime, fraud and so on.
Starting from the all people in The Netherlands, this chart shows how many people encounter legal problems, how many take action and ultimately how many problems are considered to be completely resolved.
Legal problems affect people in different ways. Violence, stress, deterioration of important relationships and loss of job are possible consequences of legal problems.
Information and advice are key for resolving legal problems. People need to know how to limit the damage, what to do and where to go to resolve the problem.
When there is a legal problem a well functioning legal system provides one or more dispute resolution mechanisms. We call the chains of these dispute resolution mechanisms justice journeys.
The concept of a justice journey recognizes that there are many different steps to resolve a problem. Most often these steps are not linear. The entirety of steps that people take to resolve a problem is a justice journey.
People involve various providers of justice to resolve their problems. Here we ask which of these providers was most useful in resolving the problem.
Usefulness is a subjective concept. It allows the individual to consider the different providers involved and estimate which one had the most influence in the process of resolving the problem.
People need fair resolutions to their problems to move on with their lives.
This chart show how they assess the resolution of the problem at the time of the interview.
Research shows that people assess three key elements of their justice journeys:
– Quality of the process
– Quality of the outcome
– Costs of accessing justice
This chart shows how the users of justice in Netherlands perceive the three elements of their justice journey.