Governor Woodley files for appeal against Court verdict

ST. EUSTATIUS–In a letter to the Joint Court sent on Wednesday, July 5, the lawyer of Acting Island Governor Julian Woodley informed the Court that his client will appeal the verdict that was handed down by the Judge of the Court first Instance on June 15. It concerns the injunction filed by Commissioners Charles Woodley and Derrick Simmons against Acting Governor Woodley because he refused to sign Executive Council documents.

The Acting Island Governor is obligated to sign the decisions by the Executive Council of St. Eustatius that have been adopted by a majority of votes, the Court of First Instance decided in the injunction last month.

These decisions concerned the suspension of the Harbour Master, the signing of the Waste Management Agreement, the co-signing of a letter to the Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations BZK, and the approval of an official mission by one of the Commissioners to The Hague.

The Court rejected a similar claim concerning the contract with NuStar Terminals NV pertaining to an agreement regarding harbour and pilotage related fees and services by the Public Entity, as the Commissioners had stated during the hearing that there were “new developments” which could lead to a new agreement.

According to the Court, which rendered its verdict at Mike E. van Putten Youth Centre and during a live broadcast on Radio Statia, there is no basis in the law on the Public Entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba WolBES for the Acting Governor to refuse to sign decisions that were taken by the Executive Council with a majority of votes.

If the Acting Governor is of the opinion that the decisions are not in conformity with the law he, or the Dutch Government Representative, has the possibility to request nullification of the decision by the Kingdom Government. There is no basis in the law for the Acting Governor to refuse to put his signature on approved decisions, the Court ruled.

In a brief statement issued via Dutch Government Service Caribbean Netherlands RCN immediately after the verdict, Governor Woodley said he respected the ruling and would sign majority decisions. He added, however, that he would submit decisions for annulment, when in his opinion there was a conflict with the law or with the general interest.

“Whatever the verdict, I am still obliged by law to obtain proper advice and that includes the advice of the Kingdom Representative,” Woodley told The Daily Herald at the time.

Source: The Daily Herald