THE HAGUE–The Dutch Government is moving ahead with the process to secure a Dispute Regulation (“geschillenregeling”) for the Kingdom via Kingdom Law. The draft law has been sent to Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten for their input.
Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk on Monday, informed the Second and First Chamber of the Dutch Parliament that the process for a Kingdom Law to establish a regulation for the settling of disputes between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the three Caribbean countries.
The draft Kingdom Law has been submitted to the three countries for consultation, which is standard procedure. In his letter, Plasterk offered to provide a verbal explanation to the First and Second Chamber.
The Daily Herald understood that this would take place shortly, possibly prior to the Inter-Parliamentary Consultation of the Kingdom, the IPKO meetings of the four Parliaments of the Kingdom which starts on May 31 in The Hague.
Plasterk stated in his brief letter that he was awaiting the reactions of the Dutch Caribbean countries to the draft law proposal in order for talks to take place. The draft law proposal will be submitted to the Dutch Parliament after these talks. As is customary, there will also be a public internet consultation.
Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten have been preparing their own proposal for a Dispute Regulation, which would be submitted to the Dutch Parliament at the upcoming IPKO. The Dispute Regulation is one of the main topics on the agenda of this IPKO.
The establishing of a Dispute Regulation has been a source of discussion between the four countries of the Kingdom. So far, the Netherlands and the three Dutch Caribbean countries have been unable to reach an agreement on the format of the Dispute Regulation.
Minister Plasterk submitted a proposal for a temporary regulation during the last Kingdom Conference in June last year. Earlier this year, he again sent his proposal to the Prime Ministers of the three Caribbean countries.
Plasterk’s proposal for a temporary arrangement entails the involvement of the Council of State of the Kingdom. A decision of the Kingdom Council of Ministers, when objected to by one of the countries, would be put on hold while advice was sought at the Council of State of the Kingdom. The three overseas countries were unwilling to settle for this temporary arrangement.
The islands prefer the Supreme Court or another independent court set-up, and they also want the decision of this body to have binding consequences. The Netherlands opposes the binding character of the Dispute Regulation.
Because the differences about the format and the range of the Dispute Regulation proved to be too great, the Dutch Government decided to move ahead with the process to have this matter regulated through a Kingdom Law. This is also in line with the wish of the Second Chamber.
It is very possible that the draft Kingdom Law, which has not been publically released as yet, will bear similarities to the original proposal of Minister Plasterk to have the Council of State act as the authority in the Dispute Regulation, the body that handles disputes between the countries.
Article 12a of the Kingdom Charter states that there must be a Dispute Regulation. This regulation would have to be set up via a Kingdom Law. Plasterk stated in a debate with the Second Chamber’s Permanent Committee for Kingdom Relations on July 2, 2015, that this Kingdom Law preferably would have to materialise through consensus.
Source: Daily Herald
Plasterk prepares dispute regulation Kingdom Law