Source: (2001) Judicial Explorations (Justiteile verkenningen) 27(3)

It is widely accepted that crime victims should be able to participate in the criminal proceedings of their cases. Guidelines for the legal rights of victims have been provided in authoritative documents such as the 1985 Recommendation of the Council of Europe. A comparative study of how this Recommendation had been implemented in the member countries of the Council of Europe showed that the Netherlands had been most effective in complying with the guidelines. Four factors have been instrumental in this success; nevertheless, improvements can still be made; for example, crime victims should have the right to be represented by a victim advocate, to address the court, and to act as an auxiliary prosecutor; however, the right of sex-crime victims to have a lawyer-advocate may adversely affect the authorities' attention to the rights of victims of other types of crimes. If the introduction of a victim impact statement is considered, attention should be given to its purpose. The right of a crime victim to become an auxiliary prosecutor should be established as a means of enabling the victim to participate in criminal proceedings.