chapter  127
6 Pages

TBS in the Netherlands

WithCorine de Ruiter and John Petrila

The Dutch Entrustment Act, or Terbeschikkingstelling van de staat (TBS) Act, was enacted in 1928. Its goal was to protect society from individuals who had committed a serious crime on account of a serious mental disorder or defective development (including a personality disorder or serious intellectual disability) who were believed to constitute a continuing danger to society.1 Generally, a TBS order is combined with a mandatory treatment order when the safety of persons is considered in danger (Art. 37b, section 1 Dutch Code of Criminal Law; CCL). The law requires that at least two experts from different disciplines report on the defendant before the trial court can issue a TBS order. A judge can impose a TBS order if the following conditions apply (Art. 37a CCL):

1. The defendant suffers from a mental disorder, which means that his responsibility for the alleged crime is (severely) diminished or absent.