District Court Middelburg asks prejudicial questions about article 1F Refugee Convention

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Amsterdam, 10 June 2016 - In an interlocutory verdict of 9 June 2016, the District Court of Middelburg (Zeeland) decided to ask prejudicial questions to the Court of Justice of the EU in Luxemburg. Judges make use of this possibility when the interpretation of European Law is unclear. Lawyer Wil Eikelboom had requested that the District Court do so. 

The case concerns a Croatian against whom Article 1F of the  Refugee Convention has been invoked in connection to suspicions of war crimes in the past. The question is if a person can still be considered a 'an active threat' to a 'fundamental interest of society' more than 25 years after the fact so that his residence in the Netherlands can be criminalized, as the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service ('IND') has done. 

Relevant to this is that in this case the application of Article 1F is based on suspicions, that the person concerned has never been convicted or even prosecuted for any crimes, and that he has lived in the Netherlands for many years and has a family here. 

The interlocutory verdict rendered by the District Court can be accessed here (in Dutch).  Lawyers Wil Eikelboom and Marieke van Eik will be representing the person in question in the procedure in Luxemburg. 

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