It has been a bit of a confusing day, especially due to speaking Dutch as a second language. A few times I have had to stop and ask Marco what this or that meant, as my knowledge of judicial terms (even everyday judicial terms) isn’t that great.
The Dutch courts unexpectedly struck down the Dutch curfew law which said that everyone must be inside between 21:00 and 04:30, unless you have a valid reason. I say unexpectedly because I didn’t even know there was a court case going on. The Dutch anti-lockdown group Viruswaarheid (Loosely translated: Virus Truth) went to the courts to strike down the curfew. The curfew had been in place since 23 January and was extended on 8 February until the early morning of 3 March. And then suddenly it was gone – or so we thought. I can’t say that I’ve been pretty disrupted by it, beyond Roger coming over earlier in the weekend. (Note: Roger is pretty much our only contact for some months, with a few rare exceptions.) Oh, and also that Marco has to get up early to bring the garbage down. The Hague decided that you can only put your garbage out between 04:30 and 07:45, rather than late in the evening the night before. Ick.
Curfew must be scrapped immediately, court rules from nltimes.nl. The court didn’t say that the curfew itself was wrong, rather that the government did not follow proper procedure and bring it before the Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives) and the Eerste Kamer (Senate) before bringing it into law. The government instead used an “acute emergency” ruling to bring it to pass. The court disagreed that it was indeed an acute emergency.
Viruswaarheid says there will be a party in the streets tonight; the leader invites everyone to go outside and celebrate after 21:00 (article in Dutch, from nos.nl). That does not sound like a good plan…
The Dutch government said wait a minute – we want to appeal that, and we want to keep the curfew active while we’re appealing. Government appeals against curfew ruling, also from nltimes.nl.
The government appeals, and the sitting is scheduled for 16:00. During the hearing, the leader of Viruswaarheid accuses the courts of not being impartial, and he says he wants a different court to hear the case. A special court will look at his request, saying they need until 18:30 to decide, give or take. It’s 19:00 now… At 19:08 the court said that they are dismissing his request for a new court.
So like I said: a confusing day. At the moment, the curfew has been struck down, until the court says otherwise. For now. We will see.