Sjamira Roseburg: “Client rights violated even though precedent has been set by ECHR”



Sjamira Roseburg

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — In a press release attorney at law Sjamira Roseburg stated, the Kingdom would be deeply concerned about the detention system on Sint Maarten had it taken notice of what took place on Sint Maarten. It is unfathomable that the justice chain is still not respecting the court rulings of the ECHR.

The unfortunate part of the matter is that the other Kingdom parties are surely unaware that this is taking place despite the rulings of the ECHR in the cases of Corallo vs. the Kingdom of the Netherlands and George vs. the Netherlands.

It is unfortunate that detainees here on the islands continue to experience the short end of the stick within the justice system. Worst of all is that no one is sounding the alarm on the matter. This failing system continues to be maintained by those who consciously turn a blind eye to the facts and circumstances. Detention at the police station holding cells should not be taken lightly.

Every day that a person who should perhaps not be detained or belong there in the first place, is a day too much. The ECHR has been clear in this regard yet these decisions seem to be ignored. Crazily enough, it seems that these conditions are only continuously perpetuated in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Such acts could never take place in the Netherlands, so why is this still happening here on Sint Maarten, I wonder aloud?

In the Netherlands, matters such as starting criminal proceedings are handled within a few days, while here on Sint Maarten the wait is much longer. This act in and of itself diminishes the effectiveness of preliminary injunctions which prompts urgent handling of certain cases. As a result of the delay in scheduling the handling of the case, the purpose of approaching the ECHR for an interim measure would have lapsed.

The importance would be no more as the client would either be already back to or soon be returned to the Point Blanche prison. Had the matter at hand in fact be handled as an urgent matter, the case could have been referred to the ECHR. This would have then resulted in the Netherlands being reprimanded on this matter once more, with the hope that as result that people will finally learn that there is no longer a place for article 3 ECHR violations or even for the detainees on Sint Maarten. At the moment however is seems that the saying “might makes/is right” is definitely taking its course.

I still reserve a small sparkle of hope in this system, and that sooner rather than later the necessary amendments will be made and action taken.