PrisonLAW’s objectives

Safeguarding the rights of all Dutch prisoners abroad

PrisonLAW is an independent legal organization focused on assisting Dutch prisoners abroad. PrisonLAW’s main objectives are providing legal information and fighting human rights violations. In short: PrisonLAW seeks a new chance for justice. The provision of aid and services to detainees can be accomplished by creating a constructive cooperation with several parties in The Netherlands and the host countries concerned. PrisonLAW aims at helping prisoners enforce their rights to aid and services. In this regard PrisonLAW holds the detainee to be the central figure. The detainee decides what kind of aid he or she needs and what services might be useful. PrisonLAW cannot take part in the judicial proceedings of a foreign country. This means that matters such as establishing a judicial decision, answering the question of guilt and determining the punishment rest with the local authorities. On a diplomatic level PrisonLAW will strive to secure the fair trials of Dutch prisoners in the host country in question.

Mission

PrisonLAW’s mission is to work at a new chance for justice. Human rights are held to be inalienable rights to which everyone is entitled. A formal charge, independent judges, a trial within a reasonable time, the preparation of the defense, the hearing of witnesses, no confessions under duress and legal proceedings according to a valid system at the time of the offence: all these elements belong to the conduction of a fair trial. PrisonLAW aims at raising these issues as effectively as possible in the host country concerned.

Approach

Thailand was the first country PrisonLAW started with. Today, our field of activity has expanded considerably. The local legal systems of the countries within our scope are studied as well as all the documents relating to a case. We keep in touch and exchange information with family members, politicians, embassies, lawyers and other authorities. Because of the sensitivity of certain cases and the substantial differences between legal systems PrisonLAW will operate diplomatically and strategically.

PrisonLAW tries to achieve its goals by means of:

  • providing legal information;
  • offering legal services to Dutch detainees in a host country;
  • providing information and legal support to family members and those who have stayed behind;
  • attending court sessions and keeping an eye on proceedings behind the scenes;
  • relieving any tensions between Dutch politics and the politics of the host country by providing the support of a second opinion;
  • visiting Dutch prisoners abroad.