The first in parliamentary history, based on a “miscarriage of justice.” Constitutional experts react to Amsterdam’s first aid judge’s decision to wrongly expel MP Nilufer Gundogan (Volt) from the faction.
Professor of constitutional law in Groningen, Doi Jan Elzinga, says the judge doesn’t deal with that at all. According to him, the ruling sets an unwelcome precedent that opens the door to political differences within the political groups in the courts. “Food for lawyers, but based on a judgment from a one-sided wrong private law perspective.”
Volt, represented in the House with three seats since March, has been at odds with Gundogan for months. Last month, the party suspended and suspended its membership of the faction after receiving thirteen reports, among other things, of unwanted sexual intimidation and harassment. Gundogan denies these allegations.
On Wednesday the first aid judge proved her right on all fronts and also awarded her €5,000 in damages, because, according to the judge, Wohlt has little chance of success in any follow-up proceedings.
separation of powers
But as Gundogan prepares to return to the faction, constitutional law experts marvel at what they see as interference from the court. Betty Drakeshag, who specializes in constitutional law, had expected the judge to be “in light of the separation of powers.” “Can a party member also go to court if he is denied his spokesperson?”
Tom Lowers, Senior Lecturer in Political Science at Leiden University, talks about a unique constitutional law. “I can imagine that the judge will rule on labor law relations within the group. But what if there is an objective political conflict? That would be far-reaching and uncomfortable.”
Elzenga says most political parties are associations. A member can be tested for expulsion by private law. But this judge incorrectly sees the parliamentary faction as an extension of the party. This reasoning is untenable and does not take into account the autonomy that groups have enjoyed for many years.”
Judges must follow the doctrine political question Use, says Elzinga. This provides the greatest possible restraint on the part of judges in political disputes. “This judge walks around the china shop like an elephant and sets a very sinister precedent for her ruling.”
The judge places the case in the context of other matters involving infringing behavior in Holland sound, Ajax, and the departure of MP Jess Van Dyck (PvdA) and Gerrit van de Kamp president of the ACP police union. “It is understandable that the young and relatively inexperienced Volt party leadership” in such a climate is shocked by such reports at home. But the judge’s response to that was “too fast and incorrect.”
Read also: Nilufer Gundogan is still hostile: ‘I will turn my pain into politics’
The verdict was quoted from internal emails from the platoon secretary, which show there was already fighting within the platoon before reports of inappropriate behavior were received. Documents in the case also show, according to the investigative agency, that the original investigation investigated was more “or less successful jokes” than cross-border comments.
The judge says he is not ruling on whether the Wohlt is a business law or a political dispute. However, Gundogan’s honor and reputation have been damaged and that she “should also be able to feel safe.”
Geert Jan Nobbs, Gundogan’s attorney, calls criticism that the judge is involved in Volt’s domestic politics as “unfounded and meaningless”. According to him, only her suspension and removal from the group was tested. Thus, it is not a matter of interfering with the decision-making of the group. Decision-making in a political party must also comply with the basic principles of our constitutional state.”
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of March 11, 2022
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