Republicans want to challenge King’s power


How much power does the King have? Not the man, but the institute? Too much, believes the Republican Society, which is preparing a lawsuit to limit that power. According to them, the monarchy is at odds with the principle of the trias politica, the separation of powers, in the Netherlands.

On Tuesday, the republicans announced they had sent an invitation to the state attorney asking for an interview, a first step in the preparation for a possible civil case against the state.

Also read about the Republican Society: A Republican can be happy

The society wants the powers of the King to be reduced, among other things by excluding him from legislation and the appointment of judges. According to lawyer Ewout Jansen, who represents the republicans, the State has “promised the citizen that the judge is independent of all other powers” and the European Convention on Human Rights requires this. “But if you look at the King, he is both the one who appoints judges and to whom lawyers swear allegiance, while also taking cases against the media as a litigant. And he always wins. ”

Jansen also refers to the Supreme Court, where functions are filled by royal decree, and to the Council of State, the highest advisory body to the government, of which the King is chairman. Jansen: “If his task is ceremonial or symbolic, as is said, why should we not know what he is discussing with the prime minister? Does he ever say ‘no’? Does he ever block legislation? ”

In a piece in the Nederlands Juristenblad, Jansen refers to Queen Wilhelmina, who refused to pardon war criminals on death row, as the cabinet wanted. Jansen states: “However, the power to block laws and decisions can (precisely) also be used subtly in ‘trivial’ matters.”

The action of the Republican Society is a so-called collective action, comparable to the case brought by the Urgenda foundation against the State in 2015 about compliance with its own sustainability requirements and the case in 2010 about the right to stand as a candidate for women at the SGP. The Society says it received 25,000 euros in donations within a week to start the campaign.

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