NOvA committee: over half election programmes do not fully meet minimum rule of law standards
6 November 2023

NOvA committee: over half election programmes do not fully meet minimum rule of law standards

the Netherlands

The Dutch Bar Association (NOvA) has set up a committee for the upcoming elections to test election programmes on the rule of law. One of the committee members is chair of the L4L board Irma van den Berg. 10 Of the 18 party programmes examined described proposals that did not pass the minimum standards of the rule of law.

Download the report The party programmes for elections 2023 rule of law?

Because of the importance of lawyers in an effective rule of law, and the essential role they play in the legal protection of citizens’ rights and freedoms, the committee was created by the NOvA. Voters have an interest in considering this analysis before casting their votes.

The analysis shows that many parties speak about the government’s actions in, for example, the child benefits affair and aim to focus more on individuals. Public trust in the government is an important starting point for many parties.

Concerns of the committee regarding the rule of law of party programmes relates mainly to guaranteeing fundamental rights and freedoms of all citizens. Themes include the certainty of a fair trial and effective access to justice for all. These are mostly proposals on major social and political issues such as immigration and (organised) crime. These challenges will require choosing those solutions that do not undermine the rule of law itself. A few parties make proposals that restrict access to justice for certain groups, and in doing so, do violence to the rule of law itself.

Nevertheless, the committee’s analysis of most of the plans of the political party programmes examined is positive, however diverse and sometimes rudimentary those proposals may be.

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