ICCPR Case Digest




Submission: 2012.06.12

View Adopted: 2022.07.26

D. Jaddoe v. Netherlands

Denial of substantive review of a criminal conviction by a higher tribunal

Substantive Issues
  • Equality before the law
  • Review of conviction and sentence
  • Right to a hearing before a competent court
Relevant Articles
  • Article 14.5
Full Text


The author of the communication is Dewradj Jaddoe, a Surinamese national. He was prosecuted for two murders in the Netherlands. The court of first instance convicted the author for one of such murders and acquitted him for the other. By contrast, the Court of Appeal convicted the author for both charges. Mr. Jaddoe submitted an appeal to the Supreme Court, claiming, inter alia, that the Court of Appeal had relied on unfounded factual findings. The Supreme Court dismissed the author’s appeal because the argued grounds could not lead to cassation. Mr. Jaddoe alleges that, since the Supreme Court, under Dutch law, cannot re-examine the facts or evidence used by lower courts, he could not enjoy an effective appeal against his conviction by the Court of Appeal for the second murder. He thus claims that the Netherlands violated article 14(5) (right to review of a criminal sentence by a higher tribunal according to law).


The Committee observes that the author could not raise his claim before the Supreme Court and that no further appeal was available. Therefore, contrary to the allegations of the State party, the Committee declares that the author’s claim is admissible.


The Committee recalls that article 14(5) imposes on States parties the duty to review substantively criminal convictions and sentences. It further notes that a review limited to formal or legal aspects of the conviction, without any re-examination of the facts of the case, is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the Covenant. Since the decision of the Dutch Supreme Court did not contain any assessment of the facts or evidence used by the Court of Appeal, the Committee concludes that the Netherlands violated the author’s rights under article 14(5).


The State party is obligated, inter alia:

  • (a) to review the author’s conviction and sentence at a higher tribunal in relation to the murder of Mr. Stein; and
  • (b) to provide the author with adequate compensation.

The State party is also under an obligation to take all steps necessary to prevent similar violations from occurring in the future. In this connection, the Committee reiterates that, in accordance with its obligation under article 2(2) of the Covenant, the State party should ensure that the relevant legal framework and practices are in conformity with the requirements of article 14(5) of the Covenant.


Dealine: January 26, 2023

By: Giacomo Bruno

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