Court handled slightly more cases last year

POSTED: 07/15/13 11:47 AM

St. Maarten – The court in Philipsburg handled 4,331 cases in 2012, a slight increase of 2.1 percent compared to the 4,242 it handled in 2011. This appears from the annual report of the Common Court of Justice that belatedly arrived yesterday.

Overall, with simple misdemeanors taken out of the equation, the court in St. Maarten dealt with 2,341 cases, Curacao with 8,473 and Aruba with 6,839. A comparative rate shows that St. Maarten tops Curacao (62.5 versus 59.6) but that Aruba has the highest rate of 66.7 cases per 1,000 inhabitants.

The court in Curacao cost the taxpayer in 2012 18,090,834 guilders, the one in Aruba 7,296,011 guilders and the one in St. Maarten 2,973,736 guilders. Per 1,000 inhabitants, the court in Curacao spent 127,239 guilders, St. Maarten 79,450 and Aruba 71,192.

Compared to the other islands – Aruba, BES and Curacao – St. Maarten handles relatively many summary proceedings. The court handled 196 cases – 14 more than in 2011. Curacao, with three times the number of inhabitants, handled just 286 of such cases and Aruba 260.

Related to the number of inhabitants (2010 estimates) and expressed in a rate per 1,000 inhabitants, it becomes clear how big the difference between the islands really is: St. Maarten 5.23, Aruba 2.53 and Curacao 2.01.

A big chunk of the cases the court handled is misdemeanors (1.990). The Judge of Instruction dealt with 794 cases plus 3 judicial pretrial investigations. Regular crimes accounted for 288 cases.

Here the comparison base on a rate per 1,000 inhabitants shows that St. Maarten has a heavier burden to carry with criminal trials than Curacao: 7.7 (288 cases) versus 6.7 (952 cases). Aruba tops the list here with a rate of 9.5 per 1,000 inhabitants (973 cases).

In 2012, Curacao had again its share of KZ-cases, whereby the Common Court declared a citizen insane: 57 cases, against 72 a year earlier. St. Maarten, Aruba and the BES-islands scored a neat zero in this category.

The number of tax-cases dropped dramatically in Curacao from 452 in 2011 to 147 last year. St. Maarten handled 45 tax-cases (none in 2011) and Aruba 36. As a rate per 1,000 inhabitants, Aruba had the lowest score with 0.35, followed by Curacao (1.03) and St. Maarten (1.2).

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