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Tom Barkhuysen on ruling extending access to court

By a ruling of the Dutch Council of State, local residents and organisations can after all take their case to court even if they made no objection during a consultation session. This extension of access to court is the outcome of a judgment by the European Court of Justice. The Court ruled that in this case the restriction in access to the courts in the Netherlands was unjustified.

For local residents and organisations who object to a new road, the construction of houses or a wind farm for instance, this extension of access to court is a positive development according to Tom Barkhuysen. He is a partner at law firm Stibbe and Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at Leiden University.
‘A consultation session is not about an actual decision. So it is fundamentally far-reaching – as done in the Netherlands – to say if you don’t attend the consultation session, you can’t go to court’, Barkuysen says in Dutch news programme Een Vandaag.

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