Justice Minister Duncan gives up the fight for now – First American admitted under Friendship Treaty

POSTED: 09/21/12 1:16 PM

GREAT BAY – The Justice Ministry has given up the fight against the Dutch-American Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation, commonly referred to as the Friendship Treaty. Justice Minister Roland Duncan resigns to the September 11 court ruling that ordered his office to take a new decision about the request for admission by right by Claire Lorraine Talmi-Zarelli.

Talmi-Zarelli received the decision from the ministry yesterday. There are three similar cases waiting for such a decision: Talmi-Zarelli’s husband Shai, Tina Marie Abbott, the co-owner and director of Michael’s Day Cruises N.V. and Ricardo Perez and his family. Perez is the manager of the Oyster Bay Beach Resort.

On September 11, Judge mr. René van Veen ordered the minister to take a new decision about the Talmi-Zarelli’s request to be admitted by right. Minister Duncan declared the appeal against a decision of February 20 justified.

“The minister resigns to the court ruling (of September 11 – ed.). Now that your clients meet the requirements for European Dutch they qualify for the requested declaration about admission by right. Obviously your clients (Duncan wrote to Talmi-Zarelli’s attorney Vivian Choennie) will have to prove periodically that they still meet the requirements, otherwise the admission by right ends.”

The requirements Americans have to meet to qualify for admission by right are that they have sufficient financial means to support themselves, that they have housing and a healthcare insurance and that they have a clean police record.

On August 27 during the last court hearing before the September 11 court ruling, attorney mr. Amador Muller asked the court to postpone the case for six weeks to give the ministry the opportunity to complete a new policy it is working on. Minister Duncan intends to write narrower definitions for two terms in the treaty with the apparent objective to make it more difficult for Americans to call on it.

Judge Van Veen denied that request, saying that the ministry had had ample time to do this. The limitations the minister has in mind are irrelevant for the cases at hand, the court ruled:
‘Those measures are not there now and the request by the plaintiff has to be checked against the current legislation, not against future and completely unknown regulations. The Friendship Treaty is more than 50 years old and the defendant has therefore had more than fifty years to take measures.”

In the case of the Perez family the ministry has five weeks from the court ruling date to take a decision under threat of a 200-guilder a day penalty for every day it does not comply with the court ruling. The Perez-ruling should therefore arrive no later than October 16.

 

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