Constitutional Court hearing on Friday, 20 August 2021

PHILIPSBURG, The public is reminded of the session scheduled by the Constitutional Court for a hearing regarding the case brought before the Court by the Ombudsman pertaining to the cuts to the employment benefits of all (semi) public sector workers. The three national ordinances that have been submitted for review to the Court are: (the) Temporary National Ordinance Covid-19 cuts, Temporary National Ordinance to amend the terms of employment of political authorities and Temporary National Ordinance on the standardization of top incomes and adjustment of employment conditions at (semi-) public sector entities.

‘Guardian of the Constitution’

The Ombudsman of Sint Maarten as the ‘Guardian of the Constitution’ has the authority to challenge newly ratified laws, which the Ombudsman considers to be in contravention with the Constitution. The Ombudsman will argue that the national ordinances in question are incompatible with article 15 (undisturbed enjoyment of property) and 16 (equality principle)   of the Constitution.

First and Only for Sint Maarten

Sint Maarten is the first and only country within the Dutch Kingdom with a Constitutional Court. Consequently, understanding the task of the Ombudsman as guardian of the Constitution and subsequently protector of the rights of the citizens is a process of great importance to everybody, not only on Sint Maarten, but the entire Dutch Kingdom. Reason why the Ombudsman calls on the government to make it possible for the Court session to be broadcast live on Friday August 20, 2021, just like it was with the case regarding the Integrity Chamber in 2016. The President of the Constitutional Court established that this will be allowed, if requested on time.

General Public Invited

The general public is invited to follow the session that starts at 9:30 AM to learn more about the Constitutional Court and the grievances brought forward by the Ombudsman for review. The court proceedings will be conducted in English.

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