“Far-Reaching Violation”: Dutch Govt Ordered To Lift ‘Illegitimate’ Pandemic Curfew By Hague Court

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A top court in The Hague issued a “shock” ruling that curbs the power of civic authorities to impose sweeping coronavirus-related curfews which should have significant reverberations legally for similar scenarios in other countries.

“The curfew must be lifted immediately,” the court said in a statement, underscoring that the Dutch government is abusing its powers by violating freedom of movement and assembly in particular. The pandemic curfew must be reversed immediately, the government has been told, which comes after weeks of fierce protests by an angry population which seems to have rejected it in unison.

In the official court statement, the Hague deemed the invocation of the Extraordinary Powers of Civil Authority Act to impose a national curfew is not justified on the basis of the COVID-19 emergency. The law allows the government to circumvent normal legislative channels to impose curfew in “very urgent and exceptional circumstance”.

The curfew is a far-reaching violation of the right to freedom of movement and privacy and (indirectly) limits, among other things, the right to freedom of assembly and demonstration,” The Hague court said.

“The Preliminary Relief Judge ruled that the introduction of the curfew did not involve the special urgency required to be able to make use of the ,” the Hague said. One key issue cited is that the government had plenty of time to discuss and consider such a curfew through the normal legislative process, thus “the use of this law to impose curfew is not legitimate,” according to the ruling. – READ MORE

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