Court cannot proceed without pro bono lawyers
WILLEMSTAD - The strike of pro bono lawyers is visible in the courtroom. One case after another is being postponed because the accused one does not have legal assistance. They cannot afford to pay either.
The pro bono lawyers are on strike because the promised increase in their remuneration has not been paid this year. In the last 20 years, the pay for pro bono lawyers has been about 900 guilders per case. The lawyers indicate that the costs they incur for their work are much higher than the 900 guilders (500 dollars) they receive for each case.
According to the outgoing Minister of Justice Nelson Navarro, his Ministry has approved an increase to 2500 guilders per case, but the funds were not allocated for this purpose this year. This decision will be enforced starting next year.
The pro bono lawyers did not accept this and will continue with their month-long strike.