Dutch court REINSTATES coronavirus curfew in break-neck reversal of earlier order to end ‘illegitimate' policy
Added 02-16-21 08:37:03pm EST - “A Dutch appeals court has revived the country's Covid-19 curfew just moments before it came into effect, overturning a ruling handed down hours earlier ordering the government to lift the "illegitimate" measure immediately.” - Rt.com
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A three-judge appellate panel granted an emergency injunction following a request from the Dutch government on Tuesday, agreeing to vacate the earlier order from a lower court to end the nightly curfew, DW reported. The decision came just moments before the 9pm curfew was set to take effect, with the judges scheduling a full hearing on its legality for Friday.
The appeals judges argued that they wanted to avoid what they called a “yo-yo effect,” referring to public confusion around whether the curfew was still in force, adding that “in this case, the state’s interests weigh more than that of Virus Truth’s,” the activist group that brought the initial complaint against the curfews to court – also known by its Dutch name, Viruswaarheid.
A ruling from a district court judge earlier on Tuesday deemed the curfew policy had exceeded the government’s legitimate authorities, namely its use of the Extraordinary Powers of Civil Authority Act, which allows the state to bypass the legislature to impose curfews under certain circumstances.
“The curfew is a far-reaching violation of the right to freedom of movement and privacy and (indirectly) limits, among other things, the right to freedom of assembly and demonstration,” the judge concluded, adding that the measure “must be lifted immediately.”
While the Dutch Justice Ministry noted it was reviewing the decision after it was handed down, Prime Minister Mark Rutte continued to insist the curfew would be enforced regardless, urging citizens to “keep respecting the curfew” even if the government’s appeal failed. Later on Tuesday night, Rutte tweeted: “Curfew applies, even tonight. The coronavirus is not yet under control. It remains important to stay at home, meet as few people as possible, and adhere to all measures, such as curfews.”
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