The Dutch resistance against the new Passport Act is currently reaching a climax along four lines of attack:
1) The civil Passport Trial by Privacy First. Currently, a verdict in this lawsuit by the district court of The Hague is planned for Wednesday 2 February 2011. Apart from a verdict on the merits of the trial, the district court could possibly decide to make a 'preliminary reference' to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
2) The administrative Passport trial by Louise van Luijk. The first court session in this lawsuit is planned for 15 February 2011, also before the district court of The Hague. Considering the factual and legal power of both these lawsuits, a win for both Privacy First as well as Louise is expected.
3) Increasing criticism against the new Passport Act from the Dutch House of Representatives. Last week this criticism reached a new high point through Members of Parliament Pierre Heijnen (Labor party PvdA) and Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert (Liberal party VVD).
4) Critical questions about the new Passport Act coming from the European Parliament. In response to these questions, the European Commission is beating about the bush as usual. At the same time it can’t be denied that with the new Passport Act the Netherlands becomes increasingly isolated in Europe. At the European level the last word on this subject has not yet been said.
One question remains: who will be the first to put his house in order in this Dutch passport drama? Will it be the judge or politics?
* UPDATE 1 February 2011 * At the European level the last word has indeed not yet been said: the European Commission launches a thorough enquiry into the legality of the Dutch Passport Act after all!
* UPDATE 2 February 2011 * The court district of The Hague has declared Privacy First and its co-plaintiffs inadmissable in our civil lawsuit. Privacy First is currently considering taking further legal action.
* UPDATE 3 February 2011 * Politics seems to be having the better of the judge(s): a majority in the House of Representatives turns its back to centralized storage of fingerprints!
* UPDATE 16 February 2011 * Privacy First will appeal against the court’s inadmissibility decision in the Passport Trial.