The Daily Herald reports that the Council of State has emphasised once again the need for a conciliation regulation for the countries of the Dutch Kingdom. The advisory body wrote this in its annual report for 2013, the publication of which coincidentally follows the Kingdom Conference in Aruba where no firm agreements on this matter were made.
That a conciliation arrangement is necessary appeared last year with a request for information from St. Maarten’s Minister Plenipotentiary Mathias Voges that was described by the Council of State as “unprecedented.” On behalf of the government in Philipsburg. the minister based in The Hague inquired about the legal basis for the instruction by the Kingdom Council of Ministers to investigate the integrity of governance on the island.
The Council of State noted that in principle it regarded a dispute between the Kingdom Government and a country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. “So far an arrangement has not been made to handle disputes between the Kingdom and the individual countries, although the Kingdom Charter compels this. Providing information cannot be an alternative for settling disputes. Based on that motivation the Advisory Department had not responded to a request regarding content for information on the instruction,” the Council of State said.
The conciliation arrangement is a recurring item on the agenda of the Kingdom Conference in which delegations of the four governments participate and the Inter-parliamentary Deliberations Kingdom Relations IPKO where delegates of the four Parliaments discuss matters of common interest. Especially the three Caribbean countries advocate an independent conciliation board that can give its opinion, for example, when countries have a different interpretation of the stipulations in the charter.
In its annual report the Council of State describes the collaboration with Curaçao, St. Maarten and Aruba as “good.” That cooperation consists, among other things, of an option for jurists from the Advisory Councils of the three countries to train at the Council of State, a possibility of which St. Maarten made use in 2013. The bonds with Aruba were strengthened last year by the appointment of former Antillean and Curaçao governor Frits Goedgedrag as state councillor on the Council of State, considering he is also a member of the Advisory Council of Aruba.
The Council of State, the highest authority for governmental justice, also mentioned the collaboration with the Joint Court of Justice. “This means a productive exchange of knowledge and experience involves administrative justice within the Kingdom. There is even more reason for such now since October 10, 2010, with the Joint Court occupying the function for the Caribbean Netherlands that the Section Governmental Justice holds in the Netherlands.”