Plasterk again offers temporary Dispute Regulation provision

THE HAGUE–Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk has, again, proposed the Council of State as a temporary provision for a Dispute Regulation for the Kingdom (geschillenregeling). He sent a letter to the individual Prime Ministers of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten on Friday outlining his proposal.

Plasterk stated in his letter to Marcel Gumbs of St. Maarten, Ben Whiteman of Curaçao and Mike Eman of Aruba that in his opinion it seemed desirable to “at least try to come to a temporary arrangement” since all countries have underscored the importance of a dispute regulation.

The Minister’s proposal makes it possible to relay all disputes to a third party, in this case the Council of State. Plasterk already presented his proposal during the June 16 Kingdom Conference in Curaçao, but at that time, the Dutch Caribbean countries would hear none of it. The overseas countries preferred other options such as the Supreme Court or establishing a special, independent committee.

Plasterk has asked Eman and Whiteman to “exchange thoughts” on his proposal during his visit to the islands next week. In the case of St. Maarten, these talks would take place at a later stage, “as soon as the political situation allows this,” the Minister stated in a separate letter to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament.

The Second Chamber adopted a motion of Member of Parliament Roelof van Laar of the Labour Party PvdA on October 13 this year during the handling of the draft 2016 Kingdom Relations budget in which the Dutch Government is asked to come to a blueprint for the Dispute Regulation this year, using the agreement of the May 2015 Inter-Parliamentary Consultation of the Kingdom IPKO as a point of departure.

Under Plasterk’s proposal a dispute within the Kingdom Council of Ministers would be sent to the Council of State for advice. A country can ask the Chairman of the Kingdom Council of Ministers, who is also the Dutch Prime Minister, to ask the Council of State of the Kingdom for advice on the legitimacy and effectiveness of the proposed course of action.

The Chairman will include the objections or views of the country that is taking up the dispute as well as the views of the Kingdom Council of Ministers on the dispute in question in his request to the Council of State.

No further decision-taking will take place in the Kingdom Council of Ministers during this process. A decision can only be taken after the advice of the Council of State and the Kingdom Council of Ministers may only deviate from this advice, which is considered authoritative, if it has a solid motivation. The advice will be made public to ensure that full political responsibility is taken.

Plasterk stressed in his letters to the Prime Ministers that he saw this as a temporary regulation for a maximum period of two years. The introduction of this regulation, if all countries would agree, could be implemented within a short period of time.

“With this temporary provision, I hope to meet the wish to secure a provision on short term to solve disputes,” Plasterk concluded his letters. The Minister will be in Aruba on Monday and in Curaçao on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Source: The Daily Herald Plasterk again offers temporary Dispute Regulation provision