A pragmatic attitude: The right to silence in the Netherlands

P. ter Vrugt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article examines the workings of the right to silence in a system, which retains a large number of the original 'inquisitorial' elements. The right to remain silent was and is a highly contested issue in the Netherlands, which is reflected in the fragmented and often contradictory nature of the respective legal provisions. The Netherlands has diligently implemented the relevant EU Directives and the ECtHR case law in legislation and/or through case law, including the case law on adverse inferences. However, tensions with the right to silence arise indirectly through legislative provisions and case law. Relevant examples are the provisions on interrogative pressure, on the use of suspects' statements made before invoking the right to silence and on the provision of access to digital data (such as phone passwords) by suspects for the purposes of investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-407
Number of pages19
JournalNew Journal of European Criminal Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Directive 2016/343
  • right to silence
  • Netherlands
  • police interrogation
  • phone password

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