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International criminal law

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If you are suspected of committing a criminal act in another country, you may be extradited to that country. This will usually involve a country with which the Netherlands has an extradition treaty. If the Netherlands does not have an extradition treaty with the country concerned, you can still be extradited if the offence of which you are suspected is punishable in both countries. This is called reciprocity.

Surrender: within the European Union

Inside the European Union we do not speak of extradition, but of surrender. In such cases, a simplified procedure is used with a European arrest warrant.

Mutual assistance

Police, tax authorities, customs and judicial authorities of numerous countries both in the European Union and outside it work closely together. They do so on the basis of mutual assistance. This may mean that you are questioned in your home country by foreign authorities. Or it might mean that the results of their investigation are used in the Netherlands. Other countries can request extradition and surrender of persons. They can also request the transfer of a criminal sentence or criminal prosecution. For example, if you are sentenced in Poland, it may be possible for you to serve your sentence in the Netherlands.

In all these forms of international criminal law and international cooperation, it is important to make sure that treaties and legislation are properly complied with and followed, both in the Netherlands and in other countries.

Sentenced in another country

If you, as a Dutch citizen, are sentenced in another country, then under certain conditions it is possible to return to the Netherlands and to serve your sentence here. The biggest advantage: you are closer to home, to your family and friends. This EU legislation is referred to by an acronym (WETS) in Dutch, and in English it is called Measures Involving Deprivation of Liberty and Conditional Penalties (Mutual Recognition and Enforcement) Act. For countries outside the EU or for EU countries that have not yet implemented this act, a different act applies (Enforcement of Criminal Judgments (Transfer) Act, abbreviated to WOTS).

Residence permit

If you have been sentenced in another country and you have a Dutch residence permit, then the Dutch Immigration and Nationalisation Service (IND) may withdraw your residence permit because you are considered to be a present, actual and serious threat to public order. In such a case you must take immediate action, or you may risk extradition to your home country.


Whatever your case is about, you always want to be certain that experienced and specialised lawyers work actively and 100% on your case. Imamkhan law firm knows exactly what you need and has many years of experience and expertise in the following areas:

  • Extradition and the law
  • Surrender and the law
  • WOTS
  • WETS
  • Order declaring a person to be an undesirable foreign national and/or entry ban
  • Aliens cases
  • Ordinary criminal law

If you need assistance, call 020-4192612 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.