THE HAGUE--The Council of State has received a request for advice on the draft resolution to establish an Integrity Chamber for St. Maarten via a so-called General Measure of the Kingdom Government ("Algemene Maatregel van Rijksbestuur" AMvRB).
The Council of State (Raad van State), which is the highest advisory organ of governments in the Dutch Kingdom, on Monday confirmed the receipt of the request for advice on the draft resolution regarding integrity of the St. Maarten Government. The draft resolution was stated on the list of requests for advice published on the Council's website Monday.
The Advisory Division of the Council of State for the Kingdom will be handling the request for advice. This process may take a maximum of three months, but in this case it is more likely that it will be around two months.
The Council of State for the Kingdom will make a policy analysis, look at legal issues and technical aspects when assessing the draft resolution. Questions that will be analysed usually include: can or should the problem be solved by legislation, will the proposed legislation be effective, efficient and balanced, is it compatible with higher law such as the Constitution, international treaties and European law, is it in accordance with the principles of democracy and the rule of law, and is it compatible with the principles of good legislation?
The advice will then go back to the Kingdom Council of Ministers for decision-taking. The minister who requested the advice, in this case the Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations, will publish the advice and the text of the decree in question at a later date.
A spokesman of Minister Ronald Plasterk confirmed that the draft decree has been sent to the Council of State for advice. "That is part of the procedure before the Kingdom Council of Ministers takes a decision," he stated. A General Decree of the Kingdom Government based on a consensus with the St. Maarten Government remained a possibility, he added.
Minister Plasterk has indicated on several occasions that he preferred a decision based on consensus above a unilateral decision of the Kingdom Council of Ministers. The latter decision, based on article 51 of the Kingdom Charter, the guarantee function of the Kingdom, essentially boils down to higher supervision.
High-level-talks between The Hague and Philipsburg to reach an agreement have been ongoing for weeks, but with little success thus far.
The Kingdom Council of Ministers took the decision on January 30 this year to start the procedure of a General Decree, or an AMvRB, to impose an AMvRB to establish an independent Integrity Chamber with the authority to investigate possible cases of integrity violations in the St. Maarten Government.
Early March, the AMvRB for St. Maarten was again on the agenda of the Kingdom Council of Ministers. Both The Hague and Philipsburg remained mum on what was decided at that meeting.