Court of Justice measures up to new demands

As of next year, the Court will do a trail run as independent entity with a new finance model – ‘an initial and above all large step in the transition to the new organization’, Court-president Lisbeth Hoefdraad stated in the preface of ‘already the third annual report’ of the Court.

The Court will not give a guarantee on the reliability of the figures in its annual report ‘as there are still no consistent agreements between the different clerks on the manner of counting’. Nevertheless, the report gives a picture of legal reality.
For example, a slight increase was noticed in local citizens being interested in becoming a judge. In order to let the administration of justice become more of a reflection of their own community, it is important to have qualified candidates of native soil as judges in training (‘raio’). Nevertheless, support is expected from future governments for the financing of training locations. For that matter, a continuous ‘input of new ideas from the outside’ remains necessary in order to keep the high level of administration of justice.

100 cases per day
The six Kingdom islands came up with a total of 27,745 new civil-, criminal-, and administrative cases in 2008.
Departing from a five-day working week less holidays, this means more than 100 cases per day. Whilst Aruba was dealing with more (efflux) cases, Bonaire, Curaçao, and St. Martin were having difficulty keeping up with the pace of the influx-cases.
What is striking in this framework is that tax cases, for example, continue to take more time. In 2006, the eventual ‘run through time’ for these often-complex cases was an average of 617 days for all establishments. The cases dealt with in 2007, remained in the system for an average of 955 days.
Tax cases that were completed in the course of last year appeared to have taken an average of 1017 days.
Summary proceedings were of short standing, especially on St. Martin: instead of the average of 90 days as in 2007, this type of cases -whether verdict, settlement, or withdrawal- took an average of 31 days last year.
The trend, that summary proceedings last shorter, is also noticed on Aruba: an average of 34 days in 2007 compared to an average of 26 days last year. In this matter, Curaçao does not keep step. A summary proceeding in 2007 took an average of 17 days, that average was more than doubled last year by 44 days.

Budgetary discipline
The Court must make the change from a government institute to an independent organ that provides services for the four future Caribbean Kingdom countries Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands (BES-islands). The organization therefore wants to start operating on a higher business orientated level – with more responsibilities and better customer-related services.
Monetary management is moreover an area of special attention. For example, in 2008 it appeared that it was no exception when the budget was exceeded. Although on overall level, only the Windward Islands exceeded their budget with 9 percent (164,241 guilders), the expenses per cost category for electricity, traveling, and accommodation and minor maintenance on buildings came out higher. The 40 percent higher electricity bill was mainly due to the high international oil prices. Traveling- and accommodation expenses were also 40 percent higher than estimated as especially Curaçao had to assist Bonaire often because they no longer had a magistrate. In addition, the apportioned budget amount of 75,000 guilders was also lower than applied for, for this item. On the other hand, there was money left over on the items such as ‘dispatching and returning’, ‘training expenses’, ‘acquisition of furniture’, and ‘acquisition of air-conditioning’.

(Source: National Newspaper Amigoe)

July 10, 2009

Kabinet verlengt steunpakket voor Caribisch Nederland

DEN HAAG - Het kabinet heeft besloten om het steun- en herstelpakket voor inwoners en bedrijven op Bonaire, Sint-Eustatius en Saba, vanwege het coronavirus, met nog eens negen maanden te verlengen tot 12 juli 2021.

CFT warns St. Maarten that loan is illegal

THE HAGUE--The Committee for Financial Supervision (CFT) on Monday admonished St. Maarten Finance Minister Ardwell Irion for issuing a loan on the local capital market without prior permission.

Saba and Sint Eustatius can submit court petitions through e-mail

SABA/STATIA - Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic it is currently not possible for the Court to travel to Saba or Sint Eustatius.