Dutch court orders government to end COVID-19 curfew

Giulia Carbonaro*

As of Tuesday night, the Dutch government’s 9 p.m. curfew will no longer be legally enforceable following a court ruling. /AP/Peter Dejong

(CGTV) – The Court of Justice in The Hague has ordered the Dutch government to immediately lift the 9 p.m. curfew imposed as a COVID-19 emergency measure last month, saying it lacks proper legal basis.

According to the court, the curfew represents a violation of people’s rights to freedom of movement and privacy and its enforcement was unjustified, as infection rates were already dropping in the country when the curfew came into force.

The curfew, which dictates that people must stay indoors between 9 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. unless they have a valid reason to be outside, was imposed by the Dutch cabinet using emergency powers – passing the exceptional measure without going through the normal legislative process of consulting the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“The curfew is based on a law for emergency situations, where there is no time for debate with parliament,” the court said. “There was no such pressing need in this case. Far-reaching measures such as these need to be based on proper laws.”

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