On 18 October, the Venice Commission published its first ever opinion on the Netherlands dealing with the Childcare Allowance Scandal. It includes a list of rather detailed recommendations for the legislator, the executive and the judicial branch, also pointing at the prohibition of constitutional review which is one of the hallmarks of the Dutch Constitution. While its conclusions are not groundbreaking, the opinion of the Venice Commission must be welcomed for highlighting the crucial connection between individual justice, proportionality and fundamental rights. Continue reading >>
The Dutch climate case has reached a new high. Last week, The Hague Court of Appeal upheld the 2015 verdict which ordered the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020. The Court did so on the ground that the current actions of the Dutch government to combat climate change are insufficient in the light of the state’s human rights obligations. Has the Court gone too far? Continue reading >>
It goes without saying that a supranational court’s engagement with national social policy is a sensitive endeavour. This is all the more so when the norms this court is protecting are of a ‘classic’, rather than of a socio-economic kind. In the recent case of Béláné Nagy v. Hungary the European Court of Human Rights seemingly recognises a right to obtain social security benefits under Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights, which contains the right to protection of property. The case was decided by a three to four vote and hence might be referred to the Grand Chamber. Yet it is especially the strong and diverging conclusions of the majority and the minority on a sensitive issue like the protection of social security qua property rights issue, that make this judgment worth elaborating upon.
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