It is the solemn responsibility of all States to comply with their international obligations to end impunity for the crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. This responsibility includes thorough investigation and prosecution at the domestic level of persons responsible for such crimes, but also to avoid the recurrence of such heinous atrocities. In this regard the Netherlands is pleased to inform that the Netherlands is regularly conducting complementarity-related initiatives worldwide. Some examples of these initiatives include:

MLA initiative

The Netherlands, together with Argentina, Belgium and Slovenia, works towards a Multilateral Treaty for Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition for Domestic Prosecution of the Most Serious International Crimes. It is proposed to set up a modern procedural multilateral treaty on MLA and extradition which would facilitate better practical cooperation between States investigating and prosecuting these crimes.

Justice Rapid Response

The Netherlands is Executive Board Member and financial sponsor of Justice Rapid Response. Justice Rapid Response is an intergovernmental facility that manages rapid deployment of criminal justice professionals from a stand-by roster. These experts, coming from every region of the world, are specifically trained in the investigation and prosecution of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and serious human rights violations. Justice Rapid Response supports local or national authorities, as well as international courts and tribunals, and thereby make an important contribution to build local capacity to investigate and prosecute the crimes mentioned above.

Identification of justice needs

Through our partner HiiL we conduct surveys on justice needs, including in a number of countries under ICC jurisdiction, such as Mali, Uganda and Ukraine.


In Mali the Netherlands is the chair of the international donor coordination group in the Justice Sector, together with the Malian Ministry of Justice. We are an observer on the peace process in relation to justice and reconciliation. We are contributing to rebuilding of destroyed courthouses and the restarting of the criminal justice chain in six provinces in Northern Mali. The Netherlands is also involved in training of 600 paralegals in 300 communities in order to improve access to justice. In addition the Netherlands also contributes to the MINUSMA Trust Fund which is strengthening the provision of justice in the North.

Central African Republic

The Netherlands is giving support to the establishment of a Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic as part of the Global Focal Point mechanism. The Global Focal Point mechanism seeks to deliver joint rule of law and human rights assistance, and to make available global knowledge and expertise to enhance the coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of support. In addition, the Global Focal Point also played an important role in reestablishing
the rule of law in general in CAR. Through Dutch support to UNDP, national courts initiated the first criminal proceedings since 2010, prosecuting 61 individuals for 26 serious crimes.


In Rwanda, we give support to the Justice Reconciliation Law Order Sector (JRLOS), which is comprised of a broad set of institutions that are jointly responsible for justice, security, rule of law and accountability. The JRLOS Strategic Plan 2014 - 2018 aims at the following outcomes:
  1) enhanced sector capacity and coordination
  2) strengthened universal access to quality justice
  3) effectively combatted impunity for international crimes and a genocide ideology/ strengthened truth telling and reconciliation and
  4) enhanced rule of law; 5) maintained safety, law and order and enhanced adherence to human rights. With Dutch support, the first phase of the Gacaca archives preservation and digitization project was concluded. The succes of this first phase contributed to the decision made by the Rwandan Government to start funding the subsequent phases of this project. The Netherlands also contributed to the building of a new courthouse for international crimes.

Sexual and Gender based Violence

Through its support to UNDP and IDLO, the Netherlands provided support to victims of SGBV in Burundi, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Iraq, through the establishment of legal clinics or other special units where they could be heard.

Montenegro and Serbia

Project: LURIS in Montenegro and Serbia
The purpose of the project was to strengthen the capacities and efficiency of the relevant authorities in Montenegro and Serbia responsible for international legal assistance in civil and criminal cases by sharing experiences and assisting in introducing the use of LURIS, an IT system for the registration, monitoring and case management for requests in international legal assistance. The Dutch Centre for International Legal Cooperation (CILC) was leading the project and the Netherlands Prosecution Service was also involved. Legal assistance in civil and criminal cases, assessment reports and reports from training were amongst the type and scope of services provided within the project. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands was primarily involved with the funding of the project.


Project: Training of the Judiciary in Morocco
The overall objective of this project was to support the judicial and constitutional reforms in Morocco and strengthen the independence and impartiality of the judiciary as well as the efficiency of the Moroccan justice system. The Dutch Centre for International Legal Cooperation (CILC) was leading the project. Recruiting and contracting of short term expertise, including pre-mission briefings and quality control, assistance in local logistics and peer tot peer mentoring and assistance were part of the type and scope of services provided. The Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland was primarily involved with the funding of the project.

Rwanda & Burundi

Fact Finding Burundi and Rwanda
The Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) carried out a fact finding mission in Burundi and Rwanda. Based on this,
the NFI wrote a project proposal for Rwanda. The Rwandese police has also visited the NFI in relation to these


Botswana-Dutch Forensic Cooperation to Combat Wildlife Crime in Botswana Forensic experts of the Netherlands Forensic Institute designed a training program for forensic investigation of traces and evidence of wildlife crime both on the crime scene and subsequently in the laboratory. The design and execution of the program is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs of The Netherlands thereby implementing the CITES treaty and more specifically combating illegal trade in wildlife. The content of the training program was determined in agreement with experts dealing with wildlife crime in Botswana from the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism and the Police department. With this program, the NFI shares its forensic knowledge on crime scene investigation and laboratory analysis to improve the possibilities and quality of forensic investigation of wildlife crime in Botswana from crime scene to court.


Project: Suriname Capacity Building Training.
In this program, courses were provided to Surinamese Justice Officers by (amongst others) the Public Prosecutors Office of the Netherlands. The Council for the Judiciary of the Netherlands is also closely involved in the project.
The project is being financed by the American National Center for State Courts (NCSC).
Indonesia Cooperation project aimed at supporting the Indonesian authorities in strengthening their Asset Recovery capacities.


Regions of work

- Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Multilateral Organisations and Human
Rights Department
- Ministry of Security and Justice - European and International Affairs Division, International Relations and Projects Department, Capacity Building Section

Three most relevant areas of work
Capacity Building; Investigation; Rule of Law and Development