AIRS is the Central Authority for mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and extradition. As Central Authority, AIRS assesses incoming and outgoing requests before transmitting the requests to the competent International Legal Assistance Centre (IRC) in the Netherlands or foreign Central Authority. The International Legal Assistance Centres are responsible for the execution of the request.
Kingdom of the Netherlands
The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of four constituent countries: Aruba, Curacao, the Netherlands and Sint Maarten. In addition, there are three special municipalities, namely: Bonaire, Sint Eustasius and Saba (BES islands). The part of the Kingdom to which the request for legal assistance relates to, determines to which authority the request should be addressed:
- The Netherlands and BES islands: AIRS
- Curacao and Sint Maarten: IRC Carib
- Aruba: Advocaat-Generaal Aruba
Most requests for mutual legal assistance are based on a multilateral or bilateral treaty. A request for mutual legal assistance can also be based on the principle of reciprocity. A request for extradition always needs to be based on a treaty. The treaties, such as the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, indicate what is specifically required for a request under that treaty. There are several requirements for a request. In general, a request has to be in writing and requires the following information:
- the requesting authority;
- a reference to the legal basis (treaty or reciprocity);
- a statement of the facts;
- the link between the facts of the case and the requested assistance;
- where possible, the identity and the nationality of the person concerned;
- a copy of the relevant legal provisions;
- a translation into Dutch, English or French.
A request for extradition also requires the following information:
- the original or an authenticated copy of the conviction and sentence or the original or certified copy of the arrest warrant against the person concerned;
- information to establish the identity and nationality of the person concerned.
How should the request be sent?
Treaties provide information on whether a request should be sent through diplomatic channels, or directly to AIRS as Central Authority. Some treaties allow a request for mutual legal assistance to be sent directly to a competent judicial authority. Requests for extradition should always be sent to AIRS. A request that is based on the principle of reciprocity, should be sent through diplomatic channels to AIRS.
All requests to AIRS should be addressed as follows:
Mrs. K.G. Scheepers
Head of the Netherlands Central Authority for Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters
Legal and Operational Affairs Department
Directorate-General for the Administration of Justice and Law Enforcement
Ministry of Justice and Security
2511 DP The Hague
Transfer of sentences
With regard to transfer of sentences, AIRS only handles the transfer of measures of deprivation of unlawfully obtained gains (and requests for asset sharing). For a request to transfer a sentence such as an imprisonment, please contact the International Transfer of Criminal Judgments department (Internationale Overdracht Strafvonnissen or IOS). IOS implements the acts on transfer of sentences on behalf of the Minister. IOS is part of the Custodial Institutions Agency in The Hague.
For questions regarding mutual legal assistance or extradition, please contact AIRS at email@example.com.