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Fewer cases submitted to joint court in St. Maarten

Saturday June 8, 2013

PHILIPSBURG -The  Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and of Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba is focussing on the realisation and implementation of a policy plan, which includes a multi-annual plan to improve the skills of staff and modernisation of IT infrastructure. This is stated in the Court’s 2012 annual report, which also indicated that in 2012 fewer cases were submitted to the Court compared with 2011.

Joint Court Chairperson Lisbeth Hoefdraad said in the recently released report that the Joint Court is to reinforce the quality of internal and external services and communication during the next two years.   It was also stated that the Court’s outdated IT-infrastructure will be renewed. The first steps to this effect were already taken in 2012. “Improvement of quality and IT both fit in the transfer of the Joint Court into a “professional and resultoriented company,” Hoefdraad stated. The Joint Court’s budget for 2012 was similar to that of 2011, and was set at NAf. 30.8 million, 4.1 million of which was reserved for St. Maarten and 2.6 million for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The total cost, mainly for personnel, amounted to NAf. 22.2 million in total. Personnel cost in St. Maarten amounted to NAf. 2,1 million, and NAf. 598,000 for Bonaire, Statia and Saba. The total number of cases filed in the courts in Aruba, Curaçao, St. Maarten and Bonaire decreased slightly from 4,368 in 2011 to 4,330 in 2012.    The number of civil servants’ cases increased, however, from 361 in 2011 to 456 in 2012. It was stated that this probably was a result of the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles.   Civil cases, especially involving liens, increased compared with 2011, especially in Aruba and Curaçao. Aruba also had a significant increase in labour disputes.  The Joint Court dealt with a total of 2,430 “regular” criminal cases, compared with 2,308 in 2011. Of these, 288 were handled at the Court of First Instance in St Maarten, compared with 333 in 2011. The Court in Bonaire, which also deals with crimes committed in Statia and Saba, dealt with 217 criminal cases, whereas 106 of these cases were taken care of in 2011.   For Aruba and Curaçao, the figures for 2012 in this category were respectively 973 and 952, compared with 759 and 1,110 in 2011.

Bron: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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