Cabinet withdraws legislative proposal organisation highest administrative jurisdiction

The legislative proposal to simplify the highest administrative jurisdiction will be withdrawn. Today, on behalf of the Cabinet, Minister Plasterk (the Interior and Kingdom Relations) and Minister Van der Steur (Security and Justice) have informed the House of Representatives of this. Reason for the withdrawal is the fact that by the acceptance of several amendments, the House of Representatives has made alterations to the legislative proposal which the Cabinet had strongly advised against during the plenary session of the legislative proposal at the beginning of October and in an additional letter to parliament last week.

 The effect of one of these changes is that members of the constitutional Council of State could no longer be part of the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State.

The Cabinet considers this change undesirable as it seriously impairs the unity of the Council of State as well as the equality between the Advisory Division and the Administrative Jurisdiction Division.

Another change involves the administrative jurisdiction of the Administrative High Court being placed under a separate Social Administrative Court to be newly-established, as opposed to being based in the four Courts which was proposed by the Government. The Cabinet believes this to be contrary to the purpose of the review of the judicial map that the four Courts could handle all specialisations independently, which review took place a few years earlier.

Furthermore, the amendment introduced by the House of Representatives in which the administrative jurisdiction of the Administrative Court for Trade and Industry would be based in the Court of Appeal of The Hague as opposed to in the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State, is in the opinion of the Cabinet contrary to the essence of the legislative proposal.

These are such serious objections to the Cabinet that it opts to withdraw the legislative proposal.

The objective of the legislative proposal was to reduce the number of courts of justice that handles final rulings in administrative matters. With this, the Cabinet had wanted to simplify the highest administrative jurisdiction. It also provided for a strict separation between the advisory and administrative duties of the Council of State.