On July 1, 2015, the Rechtbank Den Haag (the Dutch District Court of the Hague) found the practice of the Dutch government to intercept Dutch law firms illegal.
A Dutch law firm, Prakken d’Oliveira, accused the Dutch government of spying on the law firm’s privileged conversations. The CCBE intervened in the process to highlight the lack of safeguards with regard to the attorney-client privilege (see here). According to the Hague District Court, the behavior of the Dutch government was illegal and disproportionate. The law allowing the government to possibly transmit the content of law firms’ privileged conversations to a public prosecutor is equally illegal.
The court gave the Government six months to modify security policies so as to provide adequate safeguards in the surveillance of lawyers’ communications. Should the Government not comply with the order, then it must stop all interceptions of privileged conversations and correspondence.
The decision by the Hague District Court is available (in Ducth) at http://uitspraken..