Council of State against Kingdom dispute section

THE HAGUE--The Council of State has advised against the amended law which would institute a special Kingdom Dispute Division within the Council of State to handle disputes between the governments in the Kingdom.
The Council advised to reconsider the amended law proposal.
 
  In a letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament last week, Vice-president of the Council of State Thom de Graaf made clear in no uncertain terms that the Council rejected the amended law proposal which it considered “very undesirable.”
 
  In an amendment to the law proposal, the Second Chamber in July agreed to introduce a new Kingdom Dispute Division, to be set up within the Council of State, in which the Netherlands and the three countries Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten would have a seat.
 
  According to the Council, that structure is not further substantiated and deviates from the existing dispute procedures whereby the Council of State of the Kingdom acts as an official entity to resolve disputes, for example, disputes under the Kingdom Law on Financial Supervision.
 
  The Council also pointed out that the members of the individual countries who will handle disputes based on the Kingdom Dispute Law can end up in a difficult position because while they need to act objectively, they will feel compelled to take into account the arguments put forward by their country.
 
  “Because in practice there will be insufficient guarantees that these members can operate independently from their government, the proposed composition of the new department can jeopardise the independent position of the Council of State and with it, its authority,” De Graaf stated.
 
  The Council also cited technical reasons for advising against the amended law proposal. According to the Council, the technical execution of this law will result in inconsistencies. Therefore, the Council advised the Dutch government to reconsider the amended law proposal, which is now at the First Chamber, the Senate for handling.
 
  De Graaf also noted that State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops, during the handling of the amendment of Aruba Member of Parliament Ady Thijsen in the Second Chamber in July, had advised delaying the vote on this amendment.
 
  The State Secretary at the time pointed out that the change in the law through the amendment would have far-reaching consequences for the Council of State in its operations and that as such, the Council needed to first be consulted.
 
  “Therefore, he asked the Second Chamber to delay voting on this proposal until this consultation had taken place. The Second Chamber didn’t heed the suggestion, brought the amended Kingdom Law proposal to a vote and voted in favour,” De Graaf remarked.

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