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St. Maarten legislation in one online database


PHILIPSBURG–All legislation ruling Country St. Maarten, including all legislation of the Island Territory of St. Maarten andNetherlands Antilles’ law which remained valid after the transition of October 10, 2010, is now available and accessible online. The online database of legislation of St. Maarten was launched at A.C. Wathey Legislative Hall in the Government Administration Building on Tuesday afternoon.


The project to make an inventory of all valid legislation, both prior to and after 10/10/10, and to make it digitally and publicly available, started in March 2012, and was finalised last month.

With the project, which was financed by funding agency USONA and involved six legal experts from The Netherlands, all legislation which remained valid for

St. Maarten after it became a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, including laws from the former Island Territory St. Maarten and the former Netherlands Antilles, was reviewed and consolidated.

With the finalization of the project a complete set of legislation for St. Maarten has been established, which can be consulted online via government Website

A search engine makes the database easily accessible. Visitors can make searches by title or text, as well as per subject, such as finance and economy; social care and welfare; environment; education; public order and security; spatial planning, traffic and transportation, and public housing.

The legal history of legislation prior to 10/10/10 has been included in the database.

Acting Governor Reynold Groeneveldt, a lawyer by profession, said he had been praying for such a database for a long time. “Every citizen should know the law…I call upon every St. Maartener to make use of this database,” he said during the launch.

Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams called the launching of the legal database a “very momentous occasion in building country St. Maarten.”

The Prime Minister extended her appreciation to the Department of Legal Affairs and Legislation, the Governor’s Cabinet and others, who had “worked diligently on this project.”

The project not only makes the Constitution, organic laws and other laws that govern the island digitally available, but also made all legal texts applicable to St. Maarten, instead of theNetherlands Antilles.

Head of the Department of Legal Affairs and Legislation Henk Jan Habermehl explained that, where possible, most errors in the approximately 1,100 legal documents that were included in the database have been corrected. However, not all errors could be removed, because not all laws could be changed.

Habermehl said the work had been very labour-intensive. “Two hundred regulations, typed on yellow sheets of paper, had to be manually digitized.” In total, 1.600 regulations needed to be examined and, where necessary, corrected.

In the end, 1,100 Island and Netherlands’ Antillesregulations have been included in the database, which already contained all legislation of Country St. Maarten since October 2010. Five hundred regulations were not included as these had been replaced by other legislation or were no longer applicable.
“It may be that we have missed one or two laws, but at this moment I am convinced that we have included all legislation, which has now been made readily available to everyone,” Habermehl explained.

The project was approved by the Council of Ministers and ratified by the Governor.

Bron: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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