Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Franc Weerwind has promised to find a sustainable solution for the absence of notary services for St. Eustatius and Saba per July 1 this year.
In his response to written questions to the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament, Weerwind last Friday stated he was aware that the sole notary from St. Maarten who carries out notarial work in St. Eustatius and Saba
has indicated that as of July 1, no new cases will be accepted.
Members of Parliament (MPs) Don Ceder of the ChristianUnion (CU), Attje Kuiken of the Labour Party PvdA and independent member Liane den Haan had submitted written questions to the minister about the lack of notary services for the two islands and the complications that this has caused for residents.
According to Weerwind, the consequences of the absence of notarial services per July 1 could not be measured as yet, as the outcome of the ongoing recruitment procedure for an acting notary for St. Eustatius and Saba was not known as yet.
Weerwind explained that the vacancy for an acting notary for the two islands had been placed by the Joint Court of Justice on his behalf. Interested persons had the opportunity to apply until June 25. He said he could not anticipate the outcome of the vacancy procedure, but he promised to “do everything” to find a solution to maintain notary services for St. Eustatius and Saba.
“The intention is that the acting notary will start as soon as possible. This depends on how quickly the process can be concluded and when the acting notary will start. The right of access to notary services is important. Therefore, the intention is to have the impact be as limited as possible,” the minister stated.
Weerwind said he “understood the concerns of residents” and that was why he was also working on sustainable solutions, as stated in the 2021-2025 policy agenda of the Ministry of Justice and Safety.
“I am willing to take the necessary measures to ensure that residents of St. Eustatius and Saba have access to a notary in a sustainable manner,” he stated, adding that as part of the policy agenda, the aim was to extend the work area of notaries in Bonaire to St. Eustatius and Saba. He said this would ensure that all services were carried out under Caribbean Netherlands legislation and that straight supervision could be held on the accessibility of these services.
The minister said he found it important to find sustainable solutions with the islands and as such he remained in “close contact” with the public entities St. Eustatius and Saba to “monitor the situation together.”
The Daily Herald.