About the RSJ

The Council for the Administration of Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles is an independent body established by law. The Council consists of two divisions:

The Council consists of regular council members and extraordinary council members, including experts on penitentiary law, juvenile and family law, behavioural scientists, members of the judiciary and the legal profession and medical experts. The Council is supported by a secretariat.

Mission statement of the Council

The Council for the Administration of Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles ensures that the government enforces sanctions and juvenile protection measures in a humane and legally correct manner and in accordance with principles of proper treatment of individuals. In doing so, the Council considers the interests of detainees, the interests of victims of crime and relatives and the interests of public safety.

Advisory Division

The Advisory Division of the Council provides the Minister of Justice and Security, the Minister for Legal Protection and the State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport with advisory reports on public policy subjects and proposed legislation, on subjects such as the prison system, the forensic care system, youth protection and the probation and aftercare service. The Council issues the advisory reports on its own initiative as well as on ministerial request. Each year, the Council draws up an advisory programme.

In preparation of its advisory reports, the Council uses scientific research and national and international literature and analyses the views in the field and in the social debate. Moreover the Council pays working visits to prisons, forensic psychiatric hospitals, juvenile detention centres, secure (residential) youth care centres and the probation and aftercare service.

The advisory reports are published in Dutch. Usually, a summary in English is available.

Jurisdiction Division 

As a Court of Appeal, the Jurisdiction Division of the Council reviews decisions made regarding persons serving a prison sentence or custodial measure: (remand) prisoners, offenders under a hospital order and juveniles in detention centres and secure (residential) youth care centres.

The Council reviews decisions according to the law and the general principle of fairness. The judgments given by the Council are binding: there are no further possibilities of appeal.

In addition to decisions made by the Director of a penal institution, the Council may also be asked to offer judgment on the medical treatment given by the institution’s doctor or on the decisions made by the Minister for Legal Protection (i.e. the Selection Officer on his behalf). Cases in which the Council is asked for a judgment are, for example: Placement and transfer, disciplinary punishments and measures, medication prescribed by the institution’s doctor and refusal to grant leave.

The Jurisdiction Division of the Council also provides the Minister for Legal Protection with an advisory report in objection proceedings in which prospective adoptive parents are refused the ‘permission in principle’ for intercountry adoption. The Minister includes this report while reconsidering the objection to intercountry adoption.

The judgments are published in Dutch only.


Council for the Administration of Criminal Justice and Protection of Juveniles
P.O. Box 30137
2500 GC The Hague
The Netherlands

Telephone: +31 (0)70 361 93 00 (Monday to Friday, 10.00 – 14.00 hours)

Email: info@rsj.nl