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PhD ceremony Mr. A. Postma: Opzet en toerekening bij medeplegen. Een rechtsvergelijkend onderzoek

When:Th 20-03-2014 at 16:15
Where:Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

PhD ceremony: Mr. A. Postma

Dissertation: Opzet en toerekening bij medeplegen. Een rechtsvergelijkend onderzoek

Promotor(s): prof. F. Vellinga-Schootstra

Faculty: Law

'Medeplegen' - a Dutch mode of participation in crime - is based on close cooperation of two or more collaborators (‘medeplegers’). In case of medeplegen, collaborators are mutually liable for acts performed within the scope of the collaboration. Postma’s thesis focuses on cases in which the common plan is carried out in a different way by one of the collaborators than foreseen by the other collaborator. For example, in the course of a burglary the owner is being killed by one of the collaborators, whereas the common plan only encompassed burglary. Which legal principles (should) determine the liability of the other collaborator for deviations of the common plan? In this respect, medeplegen is compared with two other modes of participation: ‘Mittäterschaft’ (German law) and joint criminal enterprise (law of England).

In these modes of participation, foresight plays a major role in delimiting criminal responsibility – the liability of a collaborator is extended to the attendant risks that he has foreseen (and accepted). However, collaborators often do not take into account risks that attend the execution of the common plan. As a consequence, to reach a desirable verdict judges are more or less forced to lower the threshold for proof of ‘foresight’. It is argued, that this undesirable consequence can be prevented to a large degree when causality is being given a more significant role within the concept of medeplegen. The approach upholded, aims to give a better legal basis for the delimitation of the liability of the ‘medepleger’.