Published On: Mon, Oct 12th, 2015

Council of State: Bill PVV separate treatment Curaçao not possible

Sietse FritsmaWILLEMSTAD - The Advisory Division of the Council of State gave its opinion on the bill proposed by the Dutch MPs Fritsma and De Graaf about the return of Dutch criminals from Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. This is according to a report from Persbureau Curaçao.

The recommendation was made public on October 7, 2015.

The bill proposal allows the Netherlands to send back criminals from Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten to their island of origin, whether or not they still have strong ties to their homeland. They could be banned from traveling back to the Netherlands.

This means that they cannot travel to the Netherlands for several years. A similar scheme currently applies to foreigners, but not for other Dutch and other European Union (EU) citizens.

The Advisory Division responds to advice whether the draft bill is in line with the principle of equality and non-discrimination that the government must abide by according to the Dutch Constitution and international treaties. This question is at issue because the bill proposed less favorable treatment to the Dutch citizens of the three countries compared to other Dutch and other EU citizens.

Dutch citizens coming from the other countries of the Kingdom are treated in the same way as foreigners who are also send back through the deportation arrangement, despite the fact that these Dutch citizens are no strangers. Legally speaking, the draft bill therefore makes a distinction between "national origins" of these Dutch citizens.

The Advisory Division notes that this draft bill is a third attempt to limit the rights of Dutch citizens of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten to travel freely to the Netherlands and to stay there. Over the first two bills the Advisory Division was critical, because the (international) law requires that when a regulation distinguishes between "national origins", a serious justification should be given. Each new legislative proposal in this area can thus be legally vulnerable.

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