Tuesday, February 3, 2015 - 13:03
Judges' poor performance under fire
According to a majority in the Second Chambers, poor performing judges should be handled more severely. If they do not preform, they must be transferred or demoted. Judges are appointed for life. They cannot be suspended or dismissed by the government or parliament. The Supreme Court can intervene, but can currently only issue a written warning or dismiss through a judge. Minister Ivo Opstelten (Security and Justice) wants to broaden the law. He wants to make it easier to deal with poor performing judges. For example, a judge may soon also receive a written reprimand and be suspended for three months. But according to the VVD and the PvdA, that is not going far enough. It must become possible to transfer an erroneous judge or give him/her a lower position, said VVD Parliament Member Ard van der Steur. "Just as in business it should be possible to transfer someone who is not performing well." Van der Steur explained which cases this would involve. "This can of course happen because of anything. A judge may run a red light, a judge can not do his compulsory training, a judge may be unkind to people in the court room. Those are things for which you do not want to dismiss a judge, but doe want to do something about." The VVD and CDA even came up with a plan to temporarily not pay a poor performing judge's salary. It is not yet clear whether this plan will get a majority vote. The Second Chamber will further discuss Minister Opstelten's proposal today.