News - June 21, 2012

Court case against the state ends in a draw

Professor proved partly right after four years.

The Ministry of Justice is allowed to charge administrative costs for traffic fines but individuals can appeal. This judgement on 15 June means the court of appeal in Leeuwarden has decided partly in favour of Bernd van der Meulen, professor of Law and Governance. The state has avoided a 180 million euro blow but can expect more notices of objection.
Van der Meulen's legal battle began when he received a statement for a traffic fine. It said that it was not possible to appeal against the administrative costs. They've got a nerve, he thought, as it's always possible to appeal in a constitutional state.
The court of appeal did not judge that the levy of administrative costs was unlawful, as a subdistrict court had earlier. Even so, Van der Meulen will not be appealing further against the judgement. 'I was unable to convince the judge of my arguments,' he says. 'But I have prepared the way now for others.' All in all, he is reasonably satisfied after four years of legal action, and relieved that 'it's over'. 'I am pleased I won in the end, but I'm still annoyed a battle was necessary.'