Fewer and fewer requests for amnesty

Nearly 2 thousand people convicted of a criminal offence in the Netherlands applied for amnesty in 2009. This is half the number who applied ten years ago. Just over 600 people were granted amnesty last year.

Fewer amnesty requests 

The Dutch Ministry of Justice received nearly 2 thousand requests for amnesty last year. In 2000 this number was still as high as 4,800. The number of rulings on amnesty applications has also decreased substantially in recent years, and came to just over 1,300 in 2009.

Not all applications are eligible for a ruling. If the application does not meet the legal conditions, it will not be taken into consideration by the Ministry of Justice. 

Amnesty requests and rulings

Amnesty requests and rulings

Relatively more requests granted

In 2009 nearly half of rulings on amnesty applications, just over 600, found in favour of the applicant. More than 700 applications were rejected. In 2004, less than one third of requests were granted. 

Amnesty requests granted and rejected

Amnesty requests granted and rejected

Most amnesty granted unconditionally

Since 2004 the Ministry of Justice grants more unconditional than conditional amnesties. In 2009, 390 unconditional amnesties were granted, as opposed to 240 conditional amnesties.

A condition may be that the offender does community service. If the offender does not comply with the amnesty conditions, the ruling is annulled and the convicted offender will have to complete his original sentence.

Nynke de Heer – de Lange