Book review: The criminal justice system of the Netherlands: Organization, substantive criminal law, criminal procedure and sanctions

Published date01 December 2021
Date01 December 2021
militarisation of policing that comprise the toolkit of internationalised crime control.The
chronologically older US-led war on drugsin central America is viewed as a precursor to the
ongoing US-led global war on terror, providing key pointers as to the likely cost in human terms of
its successor. It is argued that the political interests of the United States and powerful countries in
Western Europe predominate in what are presented as international crime-control enterprises.
Although the book draws heavily from social theorists of late modernity many of whose writings
were addressing the situation inside developed countries such as Ulrich Beck, Michel Foucault and
Pierre Bourdieu, viewpoints in favour of, and from the global South are by no means marginalised. For
instance, the reference made to the work of Mohamedou in discussing the rea l natureof globalisation in
the context of the war on terroris considered here as signicant and, it is suggested, ought to be seen
by traditional criminologists as an eye-opener. Another example can be seen in the discussion sur-
rounding the moral indeterminacy of the term terroristowing to the political context in which the term
is used. The text makes reference to the universally-recognised right of peoples to self-determination
and discusses the founding of countries such as Algeria and Kenya that witnessed violent nationalist
uprising before they attained independence, which helps to put terrorismin context.
The claim that a key feature of the contemporary neo-liberal state is that it is a penal stateor a
carceral stateis ably borne out by the massive evidence assembled in the book. The breadth of
reference material, although extensive, is presented with precision and the analysis engages the
reader. The bibliography section alone occupies more than 20 pages which is useful not only to
criminologists but also to political economists, scholars of international law and international
relations and environmental activists.
Overall, the book articulates a vision of cosmopolitan justice. This is dened in the glossary as
the pursuit of justice for human rights violations, inequality and poverty on the global level in light
of state incapacity due to compulsion by powerful countries and international nancial institutions
to follow the strictures of neoliberalism, or else due to state unwillingness to provide redress for
structural crimes.
It indicts traditional criminology for being narrowly conceived, and for disregarding the suffering
of the vast majority of people on the globe who are excluded from the benets of globalisation and
compelled by the neo-liberal policies adopted by their governments to assume personal re-
sponsibility for education, healthcare and housing in the urban areas.
In the nal chapter, the issue of knowledge production in the eld of criminology is addressed.
Well-groundeddoubts are cast on the utilityto the global South of the majorprecepts of criminologyas
it currently stands.This is because conditions in the global Southwere not studied or analysed during
the process of the development of criminologys main concepts. This bookis an extremely important
contributionto the study of issues of crime and its control by states,it offers a critical understandingof
the interrelation between crime and globalisation during the second wave of globalisation.
The Criminal Justice System of the Netherlands: Organization, Substantive Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and
Sanctions, Piet Hein van Kempen Maartje, Krabbe Sven, and Brinkhoff (eds.) (Antwerp: Intersentia, 2019), ISBN
9781780689623, 178 pp., 49
Reviewed by: Auke Willems, University of Liverpool, UK
DOI: 10.1177/20322844211040996
628 New Journal of European Criminal Law 12(4)

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