Restrictive conditions when applying the intervention ladder

The intervention ladder offers a guideline for the actions of the inspector when he has established an offence. Hereby a number of conditions apply on the basis of legal principles or on the basis of the law.

Combining Opportunities for Intervention

For some offences several interventions are possible. According to the law some interventions can be applied simultaneously . Other inventions may only be applied successively.

What is allowed

  • Corrective intervention, followed by a new corrective intervention (for example, imposing an order subject to a penalty for noncompliance after an administrative enforcement order)
  • Combination of two punitive sanctions from criminal law (punitive)
  • Combination of administrative (corrective and repressive) and criminal interventions (punitive). This is only possible when each of the interventions is protecting a different interest. The inspector must therefore substantiate this thoroughly. For example, administrative interventions focussing on remedy (corrective) can go well together with punitive sanctions
  • Combination of repressive and corrective intervention (for example, imposing an order subject to a penalty for noncompliance and an administrative penalty).

What is not allowed

  • Combination of two corrective interventions. An inspector cannot therefore simultaneously impose an order subject to a penalty for noncompliance and an administrative enforcement order
  • Combination of a punitive administrative intervention (repressive) and a criminal intervention (punitive) for the same offence. Once it has been decided to follow the criminal intervention, it is no longer possible to change to the administrative punitive intervention (according to the 'una via' principle).

Intervening in case of hazardous situations

During inspections the inspector may encounter unusual situations, which require immdiate action, for example in case of immediate danger. The inspector must assess whether an offence will result in immediate danger or undesired or unsafe situations. In these cases it may be very urgent to take measures at once. In case of immediate danger, it may be necessary to end the offence at once. In these kind of situations separate interventions are often applied.

Depending on the observation, further use of an object may, for example, be prevented, or activities can be stopped. This is only possible because of special legislation, for example the Inland Navigation Act or the Railway Act.

Measures of a temporary nature may be accompanied by other interventions, which will have to ensure a definitive solution.

Intervening with companies that are party to an agreement

The inspectorate inspects partners to an agreement in the way that has been laid down in the agreement. This means that the intervention ladder is not used with offences. However, when an agreement is cancelled in an extreme case, reinforcement is based again on the intervention ladder.

Despite the agreement, it remains possible to proceed with detection or criminal law when a criminal offence is involved.

Intervening with authorities

In certain cases the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) also supervises other authorities. In principle the intervention ladder is also used for authorities. This applies at least to preventive, corrective and repressive interventions.

The procedure is only different for punitive interventions. In that case special rules apply, because some government bodies have criminal immunity when executing certain government tasks. Its observance is reinforced through political supervision.