Judge Koen Luijks becomes VP Common Court of Justice

POSTED: 05/6/13 12:59 PM
Koen Luijksmr. Tamara Tijhuis new Judge of Instruction

St. Maarten – Judge Koen Luijks – currently the Judge of Instruction in St. Maarten – will succeed Judge René van Veen per August 1 as the Vice-President of the Common Court of Justice. Van Veen returns to the Netherlands, as does Judge Diederik Thierry.

Luijks will no longer function as Judge of Instruction after the summer: he will mostly handle civil cases. His task as Judge of Instruction will be taken over by mr. Tamara Tijhuis, who is currently the residing judge for criminal cases.

Also per August 1, two new judges will start their tour of duty in St. Maarten: Koos van de Ven and Katja Mans. mr. Van de Ven will handle criminal cases, while mr. Mans will take care of civil and administrative cases.

mr. Evert Jan van der Poel will succeed retiring mr. Lisbeth Hoefdraad on August 17 as President of the Common Court of Justice.

Judge Koos van de Ven was born in Deurne (North-Brabant) and graduated from the Catholic University in Nijmegen in 1989. He worked five years as an attorney, before becoming a staff jurist and later registrar at the court in Amsterdam. In 2002 he was appointed judge at the same court; in this function he built experience in handling administrative and criminal cases.

Judge Katja Mans graduated as a jurist in 1995 and then followed a so-called raio-training. Raio is a Dutch acronym for rechterlijk ambtenaar in opleiding (judicial civil servant in training). mr. Mans completed this training in 2001 and worked a couple of years as a public prosecutor. In 2003 she decided to move on to the bench, since 2004 mr. Mans worked as a judge at the court in Amsterdam where she handled administrative and civil cases.

The new President of the Common Court of Justice, Evert Jan van der Poel, was born in 1953 and graduated twice as a jurist from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam: in 1975 on constitutional law, and in 1978 on private law.  mr.van der Poel followed the raio-training from 1979 until 1983. That year he was appointed a substitute judge and court auditor at the court in Rotterdam. A year later he was appointed as a judge at the same court.

Judge Van der Poel has extensive experience with the Caribbean and also with St. Maarten. From 1986 until 1991 he worked for five years at the Common Court of Justice in Curacao. During that period he also handled quite some court cases in Philipsburg.

Upon his return to the Netherlands in 1991, Judge Van der Poel was appointed Justice at the court in Arnhem, but three years later he returned to Curacao, this time as a member and coordinator of the plural chamber that handles appeal cases in St. Maarten, Curacao, Aruba and Bonaire.

In 1999 Judge van der Poel once again returned to the Netherlands, where he was appointed Vice-President and senior Justice at the court in Arnhem. From 2002 until December 31, 2012, he was a board member and substitute President and sector-chairman of the civil sector at this court. Judge van der Poel also was part of the board that prepared the merger of the courts in Arnhem and Leeuwarden.

The new president of the common Court has always maintained his contacts with the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. Ever since his return to the Netherlands in 1999, he has traveled at least once a year back to Curacao where both of his (by now adult) children were born, and he has always kept himself well-informed about developments in all Caribbean countries in the Kingdom.


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