Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Good practices in the Caribbean: law enforcement and rule of law

The central question in this study is: ‘What can the Netherlands learn from the way in which these countries have organized law enforcement and the rule of law in their overseas territories?’

Contact
Marieke Liem

On October 10th, 2010 the country Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist. Curaçao and St. Maarten, like Aruba in 1986, became independent countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba became part of the European Netherlands as public entities. Nowadays these islands are referred to as the Caribbean Netherlands, or the BES islands. The constitutional changes were substantial for all countries involved, but the consequences for the BES islands were perhaps most far-reaching. It meant 'the export' of Dutch legislation and complex Dutch structures to small, sparsely populated Caribbean islands. This process has had significant effects in all areas of social life, and there are still many issues that remain unresolved, particularly in the areas of law, legislation and (legal) policy. In this context, Leiden University (dr Marieke Liem), together with Simone van der Zee, the University of Curaçao, will be conducting research on behalf of the Ministry of Justice (WODC). The aim is to gain insights into good practices in the field of law enforcement and the safeguarding of the rule of law on Caribbean islands that have a similar relationship with their “mother countries” as the BES islands (United States, Great Britain, and France). The central question in this study is: ‘What can the Netherlands learn from the way in which these countries have organized law enforcement and the rule of law in their overseas territories?’. Highlighted themes include: border control, juvenile criminal law, access to justice, crisis management, detention facilities, and exchange of information. The report is expected in February 2019.

Connection with other research

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