PHILIPSBURG,….On January 23, 2013 the Ombudsman submitted the first request for Constitutional review to the Constitutional Court. After a response to the request by the Government, the Ministers of Justice and General Affairs, written submissions were submitted by both parties, and the date of July 2, 2013 was set by the Court for a public session to elaborate on the arguments from both sides.

The constitutionality of several articles in the amended Penal Code of Sint Maarten approved by parliament and ratified were presented to the Court for (part) annulment.

Addressing Technical Issues

In the first part of the petition legal technical issues pertaining to procedures followed or not followed by government were addressed, and the annulment of art. 2:335 sub 3, art. 3:54 and art.2:289 sub e. requested. Mentioned articles relate to respectively maltreatment/cruelty against animals and crimes committed against a tourist visiting the island for recreational purposes. Other sections of the Penal Code presented to the Constitutional Court for review include articles pertaining to parole for prisoners with a life sentence, probation, early release as a result of overcrowded prison cells and prostitution.

The public session to be held in the courthouse in Philipsburg is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, July 2, 2013. During this session, the Constitutional Court will hear oral arguments of from both parties, while parties will also have to answer questions of the Constitutional court.

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