High Court annuls Braam case ruling | THE DAILY HERALD

Karel Frielink

THE HAGUE–The High Court in the Netherlands has adopted the advice of the Solicitor General in the Braam case and annulled a verdict of the Dutch Caribbean’s Joint Court of Justice in Willemstad in the public interest. The issue revolves around interpretation of the Screening Act in Curaçao.

It all began when Eduard Braam, as a candidate-minister in 2021, was confronted with a 2002 ruling by the Court of Appeal in Amsterdam, which found him guilty in a sexual offence case but did not impose any punishment or measure. According to Braam, this meant that he could not be considered “convicted”.

Initially, this position was rejected by the Court of First instance, but the Joint Court ruled on appeal that there was no conviction within the meaning of the Screening Act.

Karel Frielink, who requested the Solicitor General last October to file an appeal in the public interest, explained that upon reading the verdict, he immediately had doubts about its correctness. He could not find support in case law and literature for the judgment of the Joint Court. Therefore, he asked to submit this legal question to the High Court.

The Solicitor General accepted and argued that the premise of the Joint Court of Justice – that a suspect can only be considered convicted if a sentence is imposed – was incorrect. The High Court has now affirmed this stance by annulling the appeal verdict.

This ruling no longer affects the specific case of Eduard Braam and Country Curaçao, so legal consequences of the verdict of the Joint Court of Justice on July 7, 2023 between these parties remain valid. Braam can therefore become a minister.

He is not a convicted person within the meaning of the Screening Law, because the earlier ruling already last year had become irrevocable. However, the High Court’s decision provides clarity for future instances where candidate-ministers are convicted without a sentence.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/high-court-annuls-braam-case-ruling