Lars de Vries was the court’s preferred candidate-notary Minister deviated from advice to offer perspective to locals

POSTED: 05/20/14 9:48 PM

St. Maarten – Justice Minister Dennis Richardson confirmed in an email to this newspaper that he deviated from the advice from the Common Court of Justice to appoint candidate-notary Lars de Vries in the vacancy of notary Henri Parisius.

“It is correct that the Common Court of Justice has made a recommendation to the Minister of Justice for the appointment of a notary in St. Maarten. The recommendation is however not a nomination in the legal sense from which the minister cannot deviate.”

Minister Richardson furthermore noted that the Common Court considered two candidates suitable for the vacancy. “The indicated preference was not uniform. A majority preferred Mr. De Vries. That preference for presenting a nomination to the Minister of Justice is not binding and it is possible to deviate from it if there are grounds that have nothing to do with abilities or skills.”

The minister furthermore stated in his email that he did not follow the preference of the majority. “This could have resulted in a situation whereby there would not come up any vacancy for a notary-function in St. Maarten for a very long time. Currently a number of candidates from St. Maarten are training to become notary and they will be ready within a number of years. I consider it important that these candidates are allowed to compete for a notary-vacancy when the time comes.”

Minister Richardson said that the candidate that was appointed instead of Lars de Vries will retire within a couple of years. “The appointed and very capable candidate has work experience in St. Maarten. She offers this possibility (for a vacancy to open up – ed.) because she will retire within the foreseeable future.”

Minister Richardson stated that he had informed the President of the Common Court about his intention to deviate from the court’s advice.

Lars de Vries committed suicide last Friday.

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