However, the criminal justice system in the Netherlands is very different from the system in common law countries: it is more inquisitorial in nature. Cross-examination is unknown: the judge asks questions during the trial and has an active truth-finding role. Jurors are not used, but only professional judges. Also, Dutch criminal proceedings are characterized by their written nature; the dossier consists of all documents from the police, experts and the defense. Recent developments, such as the digitalization of the dossier, enable adding (more) visuals, which in turn can be looked at by the judge, defense and prosecutor simultaneously during trial. These developments may change the character of the Dutch criminal justice system revolutionarily.
This paper gives an overview of the state of affairs on the production, contents and use of visuals in the Dutch criminal justice system. Furthermore, the implications of the increase of visual techniques and material in the communication and decision making process in Dutch criminal courts is discussed.