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Curfew declared illegal in the Netherlands

A court in The Hague has ruled: the Dutch government must immediately end the current curfew. This measure to fight against covid-19 would not justify an emergency.

A court in The Hague has ruled: the Dutch government must immediately end the current curfew. This measure to fight against covid-19 would not justify an emergency.

Has the Dutch government abused the available emergency powers by instituting the health curfew in the Netherlands? Yes, the court in The Hague said on Tuesday, demanding that the country’s political authorities immediately lift this measure. “The curfew is a deep violation of the right to freedom of movement and privacy”, therefore requiring “a very careful decision-making process”, said the judges.

The case was brought to justice by a group protesting against the introduction of this restriction on nightlife. The government announced in early February to extend the national curfew, in effect from 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. from January 23, until March 2. This curfew, the first in the Netherlands since World War II, led soon after its inception to the worst riots in the country in decades.

The special law on which the government relied to impose a curfew is intended for “very urgent and exceptional circumstances,” the court said. However, a judge of first instance ruled that “the introduction of the curfew did not imply the particular urgency required (as is the case for example during a break of dike)” to be able to use this law. , especially because the possibility of such a measure was discussed many times before its entry into force, according to the court. However, the court considers that there was no emergency situation within the meaning understood by this law, “as is the case for example during a break of dike”, he wrote in his judgment.

The government did not immediately react to this judgment. According to the NewsABC.net news agency, citing a spokesperson for the court, a possible appeal will not suspend the decision taken at first instance.

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