Dennis Richardson takes oath for Council of State Monday

POSTED: 05/5/11 12:31 PM

Queen Beatrix will officiate ceremony at Palace Huis ten Bosch

St. Maarten – Former Lt. Governor of St. Maarten Dennis Richardson will be sworn in next Monday as St. Maarten’s member of the Kingdom Council of State, the department of communication announced in a press release yesterday.  The oath taking will be officiated by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix, who is also the council’s President, at Palace Huis ten Bosch. Richardson left for the Netherlands on Tuesday.

He will begin his duties with work related orientation and tasks associated with the Council of State, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands.  It is an independent adviser to the government on legislation and general administration.

The Council is called upon to monitor the quality of legislation both from a legal perspective and from the point of view of good policy.

The appointment of Richardson was confirmed in a Kingdom resolution on March 31, but that Richardson would be installed as a member of the council was already known. Today reported about his nomination on November 1 of last year.

As an autonomous country within the Kingdom, St. Maarten is entitled to nominate a candidate for the Council of State. The government nominated Richardson shortly after the transition to country status in October of last year.

Richardson was Lt. Governor of St. Maarten from 1994 until 2000. The past couple of years he was closely involved with the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles and the establishment of country St. Maarten as project director Constitutional Affairs. Richardson was one of the most important advisors for the island territory of St. Maarten.

The appointment requires that Richardson establishes himself in the Netherlands. “That does not mean that I have to be in the Netherlands every day of the week. But I will have to be there for handling cases that concern the Kingdom,” he told this newspaper last year.

Richardson will become an extraordinary member of the Council of Advice in St. Maarten. “I want that combination, because I do not want to leave here and lose all contacts.”

The autonomous countries in the Kingdom are each entitled to nominate one candidate for the Council of State. Currently, Mr. Maarten Ellis is a member on behalf of the Netherlands Antilles. It is expected that the government of Curacao will nominate him as its representative. Mr. ing. Huber Maduro sits on behalf of Aruba on the Council.

Members of the Council of State are appointed for life, but it is custom that they step down once they reach the age of 70. Queen Beatrix chairs the Council, but the day to day management is the authority of Vice-president Herman Tjeenk-Willink, one of the most important advisors to the Queen.

Tjeenk-Willink, known in The Hague as the viceroy of the Netherlands because of his influence with Queen Beatrix, was one of the informateurs during the forming of a new Dutch government last year. After he submitted his final report to the Queen, entitled “What is able to bind instead of to separate,” Freedom Party Geert Wilders demanded his dismissal as the vice president of the Council of State. In his report, Tjeenk-Willink wrote that the Netherlands would benefit from European cooperation and that the government should not discriminate anybody.

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