University of Baltimore Journal of International Law


Whether you are a Christian or not, you cannot deny the truth of the proverb “[a] brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarrelling is like the bars of a castle,”1 especially when you study the constitutional relationship between the Netherlands and its former colonies Aruba, Curacao, and St. Maarten.

The Netherlands, Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten are four countries that together constitute the Kingdom of the Netherlands.2 These countries feel so wronged by one another that emotions often take over. In July 2014, for instance, the Prime Minister of Aruba desperately went on a hunger strike because he felt that the autonomy of Aruba had been illegally infringed upon as the Kingdom Government ordered the Governor of Aruba not to sign the country’s budget. The reasoning behind this order was in response to an opinion of the Kingdom Government that the debt had grown explosively and that this budget aggravated the problem. Subsequently, the Prime Minister of Aruba believed that the dispute settlement procedure between the Kingdom, ‘central’ (predominantly Dutch) government, and ‘local’ government was useless.3 He felt that the Dutch government would be overrepresented in this procedure, and he was afraid that the Dutch government would maintain its stance.4 The Dutch government urged for reasonableness.5



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