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Constitutional Law / Droit constitutionnel 2008 The Netherlands / Pays-Bas

2008 / Vol. 20, No. 2, (68)
Digital Edition

Constitutional Law / Droit constitutionnel

The Netherlands / Pays-Bas

Remco Nehmelman

Senior Lecturer on Constitutional and Administrative Law
at Utrecht Univer­sity

 In 2007 a new Cabinet was formed, Balkenende IV. In May 2007 there were elec­tions for a new Senate. Since then the Cabinet has a (small) majority in both Chambers of Dutch parliament. A lot of rumour started when a prominent member of the Dutch Liberal party, VVD, was sent away out of the Labor Group in the Second Chamber (Lower House) and the Political Party. A few reports were writ­ten on the issue of giving more tasks and more autonomy to lower governments es­pecially municipalities. Nevertheless, all initiatives to elect the Mayor directly by the inhabitants of a municipality were withdrawn by the new Cabinet. The Cabinet was also not in favor of keeping a new Referendum on the new European Reform Treaty, the replacement for the European Constitutional Reform Treaty. In the Dutch Upper House (Senate) a discussion started on the subject of implementation of EC Law by lower legislators such as a municipality council. A few times the Neth­­erlands was convicted for serious human rights violations in 2007. The most im­portant cases were Salah Sheekh v. the Netherlands and Voskuil v. the Nether­lands in which the European Court of Human Rights convicted the Dutch State of violating Article 3 (Salah Sheekh) and Article 10 (Voskuil) of the European Con­ven­tion on Human Rights. Last but not least in National Jurisprudence a con­flict has arisen on the question if the Dutch State is violating Article 7 CEDAW be­cause it is giving a Christian fundamentalist political party, the SGP, State subsidy.

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