As expected, the Division concurs with the Advocate-General of the Dutch Council of State that issuing authorities must be suitably open and transparent when allocating rare permits.
Openness in this case refers, inter alia, to the allocation procedure, the application period, and the criteria to be applied. Issuing agencies must therefore create clarity in good time before an application procedure is started so that potential candidates are notified and afforded the opportunity to bid on such rare permits. This decision is an important clarification of the doctrine on rare public rights and a justified concurrence with the opinion the Advocate-General issued previously on this point. It is now a matter of waiting to see what other permits will be deemed rare – in addition to the known quantities such as casino tour or boat operation permits. Issuing authorities would do well to prepare themselves for this in good time.
You can read the decision rendered by the Administrative Law Division of the Dutch Council of State of November 2, 2016 (available in Dutch) and the Opinion issued by Advocate-General Widdershoven on 25 May 2016 here (available in Dutch).