No Emancipation Day holiday this year

POSTED: 05/30/12 10:35 PM

St. Maarten – No one should expect that July 1, 2012 will be a public holiday. Article 11 of the law on publication of ordinances stipulates that the law would have to have been published three months before the date the law takes effect. Considering that parliament still has yet to approve the law, there will be no holiday this year.

Article 11 specifically states, “National ordinances, national decrees containing general measures, ministerial decrees and the regulations of public bodies and self governing bodies enter into force as of the third calendar month after the date of publication.”

A second reason why a holiday cannot be expected this year is that the Constitution gives the Ombudsman a seven week period after a law is published to hear complaints on the law’s constitutionality. If no complaints are made the law takes effect. If the Ombudsman does file an application with the Constitutional Court and they find the law does not conflict with the constitution it will take effect two weeks after the decision. If the court finds that the law is in conflict with the constitution they have the option to annul the ordinance.

Handling of the ordinance making Emancipation Day a holiday in a public meeting of parliament has been delayed several times.

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