The Framework of Criminal Law
Legislation on Bias-motivated Violence: None
|Bias-motivated Violent Crimes as Specific Offenses||Bias as an Express General Aggravating Factor||Bias as an Aggravating Factor in Specific Common Crimes|
Bias Types Covered by Provisions on Aggravating Circumstances: N/A
|Race/National Origin/Ethnicity||Religion||Sexual Orientation||Gender||Disability||Other|
The Criminal Code of the Netherlands does not explicitly enable the racist or other bias motives of the offender to be taken into account by the courts as an aggravating circumstance when sentencing.
The Discrimination Directive
Although there are no provisions that establish bias motivations as aggravating circumstances in law, a Board of Procurators General Discrimination Directive (Aanwijzing Discriminatie) establishes guidelines for the investigation, prosecution, and sentencing of violations of laws involving acts of discrimination, including cases in which common crimes are committed with a discriminatory motive. A new Discrimination Directive entered into force on December 1, 2007.
Dutch law extends protection against discrimination on grounds including, but not limited to race, religion, nationality, personal beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, or age. The police are required to register and investigate all complaints of discrimination and to report on their findings as quickly as possible to the Public Prosecution Service. The prosecutor is required in less serious cases to settle the case with a transaction (transactie), an administrative procedure providing for a fine in lieu of a court hearing, or to bring the case to trial in more serious cases. When a case does go to trial, the directive requires a 25 percent increase in the penalty for common crimes that are motivated by discrimination or hatred. The directive also requires that the discriminatory background of the crime be announced in the prosecutor’s closing statement.
 The Board of Procurators General is the highest authority within the Public Prosecution Service and makes policy decisions for the Public Prosecution Service and police with respect to the investigation and prosecution of crimes and misdemeanors.
 Protection from discrimination is outlined in the constitution (Article 1) and in the antidiscrimination norms of the penal code (Articles 137c, 137d, 137e, 137f, 137g and 429 quarter).
 ENAR, “Shadow Report 2005: Racism in the Netherlands,” page 25, http://www.enar-eu.org/en/national/netherlands/Netherlands_2005.pdf.