Broader scope for Constitutional Court under consideration

POSTED: 01/19/16 7:39 PM

St. Maarten News – DP-MP Sarah Wescot Williams is entertaining thoughts about broadening the scope of the Constitutional Court. The delegation of Curacao circulated a draft-initiative proposal from the Pais-faction during the recently held Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultation (Ipko) in St. Maarten that contains further-reaching fields of authority for the court.

Currently, St. Maarten is the only country in the kingdom that has a Constitutional Court. Curacao and Aruba have suggested establishing a joint constitutional court for the three countries.

The Constitutional Court looks first and foremost at legislation passed by the parliament and its possible conflicts with the constitution. Currently, the Integrity Chamber-legislation is under review. The Constitutional Court holds a session about this particular issue on Friday at the courthouse in Philipsburg.

“Curacao’s proposal goes a step further,” Wescot-Williams said yesterday. “The idea is to look also at government bodies like the governor, the prime minister, the Council of Ministers and the chair of parliament. If they have a dispute among themselves, they can put it for review to the Constitutional Court in this proposal. The court would render an advisory verdict. I would like to look at this option for St. Maarten as well.”

Wescot-Williams is not in favor of another element from the Curacao-draft – putting disputes between one or more ministers to the Constitutional Court. “I don’t think that such disputes should go there,” she said.

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