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Dutch graduate students to study good governance in St. Maarten


UTRECHT–Twelve master’s degree students in constitutional and administrative law at University of Utrecht have started an extensive research project on good governance in the Kingdom with a focus on St. Maarten.

The research is an initiative of the university’s study association for constitutional and administrative law Politeia and will be coached by professor of constitutional and administrative law Gerrit Hendrik Addink.

A series of lectures will be held for students in connection with the research project. The first lecture was given on Wednesday by Professor Jaime Saleh, former governor of the Netherlands Antilles and former president of the Joint Court of Justice of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. The title of his lecture was, “The House of Orange: the Good Luck of the Kingdom?”

Dean of the University’s Faculty of Law, Economy, Administration and Organisation Professor Henk Kummeling provided an explanation of the research project. The University of Utrecht and the Faculty of Constitutional and Administrative Law have been interested in the Kingdom and the Dutch Caribbean for a long while.

The appointment of Valdemar Marcha and Saleh, both natives of the Dutch Caribbean, as professors at the university provided a “big boost” to the subject, said Kummeling. Saleh’s involvement, especially, proved a good move.

Saleh’s involvement led to a research programme by Politeia in 2011. Students researched human rights in Bonaire and Curaçao. The lecture of St. Maarten Governor Eugene Holiday on good governance in February this year sparked the interest of students to continue with this subject, said Kummeling.

A total of 12 students who made the “heavy selection” are taking part in the project. The students will look at the integrity of the governments in the Kingdom and especially in St. Maarten. Law, political science, history and social science aspects will be taken along in the research.

The students will travel to St. Maarten in 2014 and organise a symposium at the end of the project at which they will present the results, said Kummeling. The project is part of the Master’s Legal Research programme with 25 selected students per year, said head of the good governance in St. Maarten research project Mariëtte van der Tol.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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