Friday, 26 February 2016 - 08:46
Judges: Don't shut highest administrative law court
The judges on the Central Appeals Council are calling on parliament to drop plans to abolish their institution. The 49 judges warn of legal inequality, destruction of knowledge and higher costs if the council disappears, in an open letter published in the Volkskrant on Friday. The Central Appeals Council is the highest court in the field of administrative, social security and civil service law. In their coalition agreement, the VVD and PvdA agreed to abolish the Council and have the cases it handles simply go to the courts. The judges worn that specialist knowledge would be lost if this happens. "To compare with the medical field: the ophthalmologist will also treat cardiovascular disease", they write in the letter. "It is there fore important that the ruling about social security on appeal stays connected to one specialized court." The letter writers acknowledge that it is unusual for judges to speak out on proposed legislative changes, but they see no other way. According to them, there was no "fundamental debate on this legislative proposal, which touches the core of the law". They hope that politicians will accept "advice from the field".