Orientation points for sentencing and lovs agreements criminal lawyer - Weening Criminal Lawyers

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Orientation points have been developed for frequently occurring offenses on which the judge can orient himself in determining the sentence to be imposed.

All criminal law departments of the district courts and courts of appeal are united in the Landelijk Overleg Vakinhoud Strafrecht (LOVS). The aim of the LOVS is to promote legal unity, legal certainty, expertise and improvement of work processes. In view of this objective, the LOVS publishes various recommendations and guides that have been developed in consultation and cooperation with criminal judges. These recommendations and guidelines do not bind the individual criminal judge in a specific case.

Over the years, other agreements to promote legal unity have also been made by the LOVS, including rounding rules in fines, standard amounts for compensation for time spent "unjustly" in insurance or pretrial detention, standard compensation under Articles 89 and 591a of the Code of Criminal Procedure, and substitute incarceration in fines, compensation measures, and community service.


In 1998, the LOVS (Landelijk Overleg Vakinhoud Strafrecht, formerly Landelijk overleg van voorzitters van de strafsectoren van de gerechtshoven en de rechtbanken) gave an initial impetus to arrive at a consistent national sentencing policy. It was decided that over time, for a number of frequently occurring offenses, a sentencing guideline (orientation point) would be indicated on which the judge could orient himself when imposing punishment.

Orientation points represent the sentence that judges tend to impose for the modal offense (the most common manifestation of the criminal offense). They come about after an inventory of the practice of sentencing and after consultation with all courts. The landmarks are adopted by the LOVS at the proposal of the Legal Unity Committee. In 2016, new landmark points for adjudication under the juvenile criminal law were added to the existing landmark points for sentencing. These landmarks are prepared by the Juvenile Justice Expert Group and then adopted by the LOVS, after the Law Unit Committee has been heard. Once adopted, they are published on the website www.rechtspraak.nl.

Orientation points provide a starting point for thinking about the sentence to be imposed. They provide the judge with a handle and the opportunity to point to national practice in sentencing. The orientation points do not bind the judge. He is responsible in individual cases to determine and impose an appropriate sentence.

The points of reference for adjudication under the juvenile criminal law are preceded by a number of observations that the (child) court can take into account in sentencing.

In addition to these instruments to promote legal unity in sentencing, a number of agreements to promote legal unity have been made over the years by the LOVS. Examples include the rounding rules for fines, the standard amounts for compensation for time spent "unjustly" in police custody or pre-trial detention, the standard fees for legal aid, and the tables of substitute custody for fines and hostage-taking for compensation measures and substitute custody for community service. These LOVS agreements are also included in this document. Here, too, a distinction is made between LOVS agreements for adjudication under adult criminal law and for adjudication under juvenile criminal law. Where no separate LOVS agreements for adjudication under the juvenile justice system are included, the LOVS agreements for adjudication under the adult criminal justice system can be followed.

The Law Commission periodically evaluates whether the benchmarks and LOVS agreements are still sufficiently in line with practice or whether changes need to be made. With regard to the points of reference and LOVS agreements for adjudication under the juvenile criminal law, the Law Unit Committee is informed by the Expert Group of Juvenile Judges.

The National Office of Judicial Professionalism is responsible for publishing the (updated) landmarks and LOVS agreements.