This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that the Dutch government is not obliged to facilitate the return from detention camps in Northern Syria of 23 female Dutch nationals who went to areas controlled by IS of their own accord and their 56 children, thereby confirming an earlier judgment rendered by the Court of Appeal in The Hague.
Robert van Galen represented the children and their mothers on a legal aid basis before the Supreme Court. The lawyers who worked on this case would like to make the following statement about the ruling:
"We consider it an important civic responsibility to provide assistance to the women and children being held in the Kurdish camps and are proud that we have been allowed to do so. We are of course disappointed with the outcome, as their dire situation will now continue. This is of course especially harmful for the children.
We will now discuss with our clients the possibility of bringing proceedings before the European Court of Human Rights, where a similar French case is pending. In addition, we believe the judgment leaves the door open for a case-by-case assessment, which could result in new civil proceedings. At present, preliminary relief proceedings are already pending before the District Court in The Hague concerning the return of one of the women without children."
Tom de Boer, Prakken d'Oliveira
Tamara Buruma, Prakken d'Oliveira
André Seebregts, Seebregts & Saey
Elpiniki Kolokatsi, Kolokatsi Lawyers
Jeffrey Jordan, Jordan Law
Bart Nooitgedagt, De Roos & Pen
Robert van Galen, NautaDutilh (Supreme Court lawyer)