Dutch gov't can ban fireworks this New Year's, court rules
The government's fireworks ban for this New Year's is allowable, the court ruled on Friday in summary proceedings filed by a number of fireworks dealers. The state provided sufficient explanation for why the ban is necessary and what problems it is intended to prevent, the court ruled, NOS reports.
The government announced a ban on the sale and lighting of consumer fireworks in mid-November. The sellers felt that this decision came way too late. But according to the court, the government could not have made the decision any earlier, because it was uncertain how the pandemic would develop and how long it would last.
The idea behind the fireworks ban is to not put any extra pressure on enforcers and a healthcare system already overburdened by the pandemic. Every New Year's hundreds of people in the Netherlands sustain fireworks related injuries, and there are always incidents of police officers and other first responders being pelted with fireworks. The ban should also prevent gatherings outside.
Lawyer Lex de Jager, who represented the fireworks sellers, is disappointed by the verdict, he said to NOS. He asked the court to also rule on an appropriate compensation scheme, but the judge refused as negotiations between the government and fireworks industry are still ongoing.