Ombudsman: Dutch politics undermining justice

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Politics is seriously undermining the administration of justice in the Netherlands, the National Ombudsman warns in an article published in Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad.

“Politics is threatening to limit the administration of justice to such an extent that the question arises whether anything will remain at all,” Alex Brenninkmeijer declares in the article. “Justice is an unexpected factor, which apparently doesn’t fit in the economic model.”

The conservative minority cabinet led by pro-business Prime Minister Mark Rutte has introduced higher fees civilians have to pay in certain procedures. “That is resentment against the judiciary. Politics is all too happy to corner judges.”

The development has been going on for some time, Mr Brenninkmeijer notes. “I already saw it in the new laws regulating social security. The sanctions imposed on people who receive benefits are tight and are going to be made even tighter. Soon people may be in a lot of trouble for making just one tiny mistake. Already judges are no longer allowed to take that into consideration.”

(cl/tt)

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