Transfer of Minors to the Criminal Court in Europe: Belgium and the Netherlands
The transfer of youths from the juvenile to the criminal court was common in large parts of the world throughout the past century. Right from the start, judicial waiver mechanisms to remove very serious cases from the juvenile court formed part of the juvenile justice system in many countries. It was and is still viewed by many as a ‘safety valve’ for the juvenile courts, and for the juvenile justice system as a whole. The idea was that by offering this safety valve for extremely serious cases that happen only rarely, the special treatment of the mass of young offenders could be saved. There has been little if any research into these mechanisms until recently, when, alarmed by reports from the United States, some researchers in Western Europe started to investigate this phenomenon.