PHILIPSBURG: St. Maarten Ombudsman Gwendolien Mossel has submitted the three ordinances, in connection with cuts to employment benefits of all (semi) public sector workers, to the Constitutional Court for review.
The ordinances are the Temporary National Ordinance Covid-19 cuts, Temporary National Ordinance to amend the terms of employment of political authorities and Temporary National Ordinance on the standardization of top incomes and adjustment of employment conditions at (semi-) public sector entities.
The Ombudsman as the “Guardian of the Constitution” has the authority to challenge newly ratified laws, which the Ombudsman considers to be in contravention with the Constitution.
Restricting fundamental human rights can only take place based on specific requirements; the restriction should be prescribed by law, in the general interest of the people and it should pass what is called a “fair balance” test.
Although the specific arguments for the challenging of the individual national ordinances differ slightly, the grounds are: incompatibility with Article 15 (undisturbed enjoyment of property) and incompatibility with Article 16 of the Constitution (equality principle).
The Ombudsman has requested the Constitutional Court to quash all or part of the ordinances. The Ombudsman is represented by Hoeve and Rogers attorneys Jason Rogers and Nancy Joubert.