The public prosecution service will now un-suspend pursuing Coronavirus fines
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Nearly two weeks after the Dutch governments’ Coronavirus curfew was seen to be an inappropriate use of emergency laws, the group “Viruswaarheid” has lost its appeal in the Dutch high court to have the curfew declared null and void, reports the DvhN. The ruling has no immediate value as the first court challenge forced Mark Rutte’s outgoing government to actually utilise the Netherlands democratic institutions to pass a law for the curfew.
The court found that (in opposition to a lower court last week) the Coronavirus pandemic is “out of the ordinary circumstances, that make the bringing in of a curfew acceptable. The Coronavirus pandemic is sufficient reason”, said the judge. The ruling also drew attention to the fact that the Dutch government did follow Outbreak Management Team advice, and said that the curfew was a proportional response to the pandemic.
“The temporary limitations of several basic rights, such as freedom of movement, is also legal in this respect”. The appeals judge also noted that the emergency laws used to pass the original curfew could include such events as an unexpected global pandemic, comparing it to the danger faced by people were a dyke to break.
This ruling will have an effect on those that have received a fine for being out after 21:00, or forming groups, or breaking other Coronavirus restrictions, though. Last week the Public Prosecution Service (Opnebaar Ministerie) had said that it would pause pursuing those that had been fined until the court reached a decision.
If another appeal follows this decision, the case could be sent upwards to the ‘Hoge Raad’, the highest court in the land.