European & International proceedings

In general

Because JahaeRaymakers represents clients in often large and complex cross-border cases, we are keenly aware that legal issues and disputes are a law unto themselves. In cases with an international dimension we have extensive knowledge and know-how of international and European law. At the same time we can rely on our worldwide network of fellow lawyers and academics to assist us or to share their knowledge of other jurisdictions if necessary. This allows JahaeRaymakers to join in the thought processes of companies and officers that operate in international commerce and are confronted abroad with compliance issues or measures taken by local enforcement and investigative authorities. We can also provide assistance if Dutch enforcement and investigative authorities take measures in incidents that have largely or entirely occurred abroad. Some examples of the latter are legal assistance provided by the Netherlands with regard to e.g. an extradition request, a European Arrest Warrant (EAW) or a request from a foreign authority to search businesses and homes. Special aspects of international and European law are complaint proceedings against the Netherlands before the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg and the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) in Geneva. JahaeRaymakers assists its clients in such complaint proceedings, often involving questions of principle, such as the scope of the right to a fair trial or the right to privacy.

More specifically

(International) asset recovery

Internal fraud almost always gives rise not only to reputational damage, but also to significant financial loss for the injured parties or companies involved. The funds fraudulently obtained are often concealed and transferred abroad, whereby complex legal and other schemes are used. (International) asset recovery is the process aimed at recovering those funds for the injured party or parties, for instance by blocking bank accounts or seizing and selling off property and other valuables.

JahaeRaymakers can advise injured parties in such (international) asset recovery processes and can act as central coordinator for the various Dutch and foreign lawyers involved. If internal or other fraud gives rise to a criminal investigation, JahaeRaymakers can also work together with the Dutch and foreign law enforcement agencies involved, if necessary and appropriate.

Cross-border fraud and other investigations

Our lawyers can join in the thought processes of companies and officers that operate in international commerce and are confronted abroad with compliance issues or measures taken by local enforcement and investigative authorities as part of fraud or other investigations. JahaeRaymakers can also provide assistance if Dutch enforcement and investigative authorities take measures in incidents that have largely or entirely occurred abroad.

Extradition and surrender

One of the consequences of the opening of the borders within Europe and the increasing internationalisation of commerce is that local investigative authorities are increasingly confronted with subjects located abroad. The suspect in a Dutch criminal investigation may reside abroad, for instance, or the suspect in a foreign criminal investigation may reside in the Netherlands. In order to nevertheless have such a suspect arrested and transferred, an international request for assistance must be made. Within the European Union this is known as surrender, which requires a European Arrest Warrant (EAW). Outside the European Union this is known as extradition, in which case an extradition request must be filed.

JahaeRaymakers has many years of experience with extradition and surrender proceedings. Most of those cases involve assistance to persons arrested in the Netherlands under a foreign EAW or extradition request. JahaeRaymakers also often assists clients in the opposite case (an arrest abroad at the request of the Netherlands), in which they are often successful; sometimes in court, but sometimes also without a lawsuit, by finding an alternative solution that is acceptable to all the parties involved. Our worldwide network of fellow lawyers and academics plays a unique role in that regard.

Transfer of enforcement of criminal judgments, fines and confiscation orders

As a result of the increasing international cooperation between countries, the enforcement of criminal judgments is increasingly being transferred from one country to another. Transfer to the Netherlands by another EU Member State is in that case governed by the Measures Involving Deprivation of Liberty and Conditional Penalties Mutual Recognition and Enforcement Act (WETS) or the Financial Penalties and Confiscation Orders Mutual Recognition and Enforcement Act (WWETGC). Outside the European Union the Enforcement of Criminal Judgments Transfer Act (WOTS) applies. In outline, however, the objective of the proceedings is the same in all cases: to transfer the foreign sanction and, after legal proceedings, to enforce it in the Netherlands.

JahaeRaymakers assists clients that are confronted with a foreign or Dutch transfer request and wish to oppose it. Also in the opposite situation, in which transfer is considered desirable, we regularly advise and assist clients in order to persuade the authority in question to transfer the enforcement of the sanction.

Transfer of criminal prosecution

One of the consequences of the opening of the borders within Europe and the increasing internationalisation of commerce is that local investigative authorities are increasingly being confronted with subjects located outside their jurisdiction. That problem can often be solved by requesting the country in which the person in question is located to extradite or surrender him or her. Sometimes that is impossible, for instance because no extradition treaty is in place between the two countries or because the country in which the person is located does not extradite its own subjects. In that type of case it is often decided to transfer the entire criminal prosecution, so that the person involved can be sentenced in that other country. But transfer of the criminal prosecution may be considered desirable also in other cases, for instance in a cross-border fraud case in which an investigation was initially instituted in several countries but it is ultimately decided to focus the various prosecutions in one single country.

JahaeRaymakers assists clients that are confronted with a foreign or Dutch transfer request and wish to oppose it. Also in the opposite situation, in which transfer is considered desirable, we can advise and assist clients in order to persuade the authority in question to transfer the criminal prosecution.

Mutual legal assistance in criminal matters

One of the consequences of the opening of the borders within Europe and the increasing internationalisation of commerce is that local investigation authorities are increasingly being confronted with evidence located abroad. A home or business that must be searched for the purposes of a Dutch criminal investigation may be located in a different country, for instance, or a witness who must be examined in a foreign criminal investigation may reside in the Netherlands. An international mutual assistance request must be filed in order to nevertheless gather the evidence required in such a case.

JahaeRaymakers frequently assists clients in complaint and leave proceedings (under Section 552a in conjunction with 552p of the Dutch Code of Criminal Procedure), for instance because their businesses or homes have been searched at the request of a foreign authority. A professional practitioner (e.g. an accountant or civil-law notary) or a financial institution (e.g. a bank) may also be confronted with an order to surrender documents or financial data, issued at the request of a foreign authority. We also often represent clients in the opposite case (mutual assistance provided abroad at the request of the Netherlands). In both cases the outcome can be that no data or documents whatsoever need to be transferred, but also that the transfer is kept to an absolute minimum. In addition to practical and financial implications, a search furthermore often gives rise to reputational damage, even if the company or person involved is not a suspect. Also in these respects JahaeRaymakers can assist its clients and advise them on how to minimise such reputational or other damage.

Complaint procedures at the ECtHR and HRC

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg and the United Nations Human Rights Committee (HRC) in Geneva are international judicial authorities entrusted with the handling of complaints of private individuals and companies regarding violations of fundamental rights. The Netherlands is affiliated with both of those authorities. Examples of fundamental rights that can be invoked are the right to live in freedom and safety, the right to a fair trial, the right to privacy and the right of property.

A complaint can be filed with the ECtHR and the United Nations Human Rights Committee only if all national remedies have been exhausted. This means that the complaint must first have been presented to the highest national court. In the Netherlands that is usually the Supreme Court or the Council of State. Only after the highest court has rejected the complaint is it possible to apply to the ECtHR or the United Nations Human Rights Committee. At the ECtHR a complaint must be filed within six months after the highest national court has ruled against the complainant. In principle, no term applies for filing a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Committee. Although, in principle, the threshold is low, experience has shown that filing a successful complaint with the ECtHR or the United Nations Human Rights Committee requires specialist knowledge. JahaeRaymakers assists clients in complaint proceedings before these authorities, often involving questions of principle, such as the scope of the right to a fair trial or the right to privacy.