Judges are too soft, says law council poll

Dutch judges are too soft on criminals, according to 85% of those polled on behalf of the council for the administration of justice.

And four out of five think judges should improve the way they explain their reasoning to the general public, the survey showed.

Citizens think judges impose too low sentences because the laws are not tough enough and because judges themselves are soft. Just 23% of those polled said they had 'a lot of trust' in the justice system.

Council chairman Erik van den Emster told the Telegraaf he thought certain recent high-profile cases had coloured opinion. 'But we do accept the criticism,' he told the paper. 'Judges have to explain, explain and explain again.'