• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Preface
 The law and legal literature of...






Group Title: Bibliographies of foreign law series. No. 10
Title: The law and legal literature of Curaçao
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00054961/00001
 Material Information
Title: The law and legal literature of Curaçao
Series Title: Bibliographies of foreign law series
Physical Description: 42 p. : ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Palmer, Thomas Waverly, 1891-
Veen Zeppenfeldt, S. G. C. v. d
American Foreign Law Association
Publisher: American Foreign Law Association
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: 1934
 Subjects
Subject: Law -- Bibliography -- Curaçao   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: Thomas W. Palmer, S.G.C.v.d. Veen Zeppenfeldt.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00054961
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 53464031

Table of Contents
    Preface
        Page 4
    The law and legal literature of Curacao
        Page 5
        Form and organization of the colonial government
            Page 6
            The colony as a unit
                Page 6
                Page 7
                Page 8
            The islands individually
                Page 9
                Page 10
            Reference books
                Page 11
        Sources of law
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
        Courts
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
        Civil law
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
        Commercial law
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
        Civil procedure
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
        Criminal law
            Page 36
            Page 37
        Criminal procedure
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
        International law
            Page 41
            Public international law
                Page 41
            Conflict of laws
                Page 42
Full Text











PREFATORY NOTE

"The Law and Legal Literature of Curacao"
herein offered has been prepared by Thomas W.
Palmer, of the New York Bar, and S.G.C. v.d.
Veen Zeppenfeldt, of the Curaqao Bar, as a
contribution to the program of the Committee
on Foreign Law of the Association of the Bar
of the City of New York.

This article is published by the American
Foreign Law Association in its "Bibliographies
of Foreign Law Series", by special arrangement
with the Committee above mentioned.


~bL3e~lll ------rEN










THE LAW AND LEGAL LITERATURE

OF CURACAO

Article I of the Constitution for the King-
dom of the Netherlands (Grondwet voor het
S Koninkrijk der Nederlanden) which became
effective in 1922 describes the kingdom as in-
cluding the territory of Netherland (i.e., the
territory in Europe: Holland), Dutch Indies
(i.e., Dutch East Indies), Surinam and Curacao.
The Constitution previously had defined the
kingdom simply as the territory in Europe and
the colonies and possessions in other parts of
the world. Although it appears to be the inten-
Stion of the Dutch Government to adopt officially
the term "gebiedsdeel" (part of territory) in
laws, ordinances and decrees, the term "Kolonie"
(Colony) is still found in many laws and or-
dinances as, for example the "Law of May 31,
1865 providing for the regulation of the ad-
ministration of the Government in the colony
SCuracao" (Wet van den 3Isten Mei 1865,
houdende vaststelling van het reglement op het
beleid der Regeering in de kolonie Curacao).
In view of its common usage and easier transla-
tion the term "colony" will be the one adopted
herein.









The name "Dutch West Indies" (Neder-
landsch West-Indie), commonly used to indicate
Surinam (Dutch Guiana) and Curaqao (i.e.,
the Colony Curacao), is an unofficial expression
and does not appear in any law or ordinance.
The colony Curacao was restored to Holland in
1816 after the Napoleonic wars and has been
continuously under control of Holland since
that time. Geographically, the colony consists
of the Leeward Islands of Curacao, Aruba and
Bonaire; and of the Windward Islands of St.
Martin (Dutch part), Saba and St. Eustatius.


I. FORM AND ORGANIZATION OF
THE COLONIAL GOVERNMENT.

A. The Colony as a Unit.

The colony is governed in accordance with
the provisions of a Dutch law or act issued in
Holland on May 31, 1865 and commonly refer-
red to as the "Regulation of the Government of
Curacao". Paragraph I of article I of the Act
defines the territory of the colony Curacao as
consisting of the islands of Curacao, Bonaire,
Aruba, St. Martin (to the extent owned by
Holland), St. Eustatius and Saba with their
dependencies.









The name "Dutch West Indies" (Neder-
landsch West-Indie), commonly used to indicate
Surinam (Dutch Guiana) and Curaqao (i.e.,
the Colony Curacao), is an unofficial expression
and does not appear in any law or ordinance.
The colony Curacao was restored to Holland in
1816 after the Napoleonic wars and has been
continuously under control of Holland since
that time. Geographically, the colony consists
of the Leeward Islands of Curacao, Aruba and
Bonaire; and of the Windward Islands of St.
Martin (Dutch part), Saba and St. Eustatius.


I. FORM AND ORGANIZATION OF
THE COLONIAL GOVERNMENT.

A. The Colony as a Unit.

The colony is governed in accordance with
the provisions of a Dutch law or act issued in
Holland on May 31, 1865 and commonly refer-
red to as the "Regulation of the Government of
Curacao". Paragraph I of article I of the Act
defines the territory of the colony Curacao as
consisting of the islands of Curacao, Bonaire,
Aruba, St. Martin (to the extent owned by
Holland), St. Eustatius and Saba with their
dependencies.









The chief executive officer is a "Gouverneur"
or Governor who acts in the name and as rep-
resentative of the King (Queen) of the Nether-
lands. He holds office at the will of the King
(Queen) and resides at Willemstad, Island of
Curacao, which is the first island in importance
of the colony. The Governor is ex-officio presi-
dent of a council or advisory cabinet known as
the "Raad van Bestuur" or Government's Coun-
cil, consisting of the Governor as president, a
vice-president and three members. Like the
president, the vice-president and members of the
council hold office only at the will of the King
(Queen).

The body in the Colony which has legislative
power is the "Koloniale Raad" or Colonial
Council consisting of thirteen members all of
whom are appointed by the King (Queen).
They hold office for a term of four years and
each year a group retires. A retiring member
may be reappointed. The Colonial Council files
with the King (Queen) a recommendation of
two candidates for each vacancy which recom-
mendation, however, is not binding on the King
(Queen) who may appoint a third person.

The acts of the Colonial Council are called
"ordinances". The Governor proposes bills or









projects of ordinances before the Council and
the Council has the power of amending bills
presented by the Governor and the rarely exer-
cised power of drafting its own bills. The Coun-
cil may "invite" the Governor to give it reports,
oral or written, relative to the affairs of the
Colony. When the reports are oral, they are
made not by the Governor but by a deputy or
attorney of the Government. Also, the Council
has the right to represent or defend the interests
of the Colony before the King (Queen), the
Holland Parliament and the Governor.

Taxes may be levied in the colony only by
virtue of a law enacted in Holland or an or-
dinance promulgated by the Colonial Council.
No privileges may be granted for taxes. The
colony may not incur an obligation for a loan,
unless authorized by an act of the Holland Par-
liament or by a colonial ordinance approved by
such an act.

The budget for the colony is first provisionally
drafted in the form of an ordinance by the
Governor and by him presented to the Council
for its approval. The action of the Council is
final unless one of the following conditions ap-
pears, in which case the budget must be approved
by an act of the Holland Parliament:









1. If a subsidy from Holland is required to meet the
Colony's needs.
2. If the King (Queen) does not approve the budget as
voted by the Colonial Council.
3. If the Council fails to approve the budget before the
second Tuesday in May of the year for which the
budget is to apply.

The colonial finances are handled under the
Governor's control by an officer called the Ad-
ministrator of Finance who holds office at the
will of the King (Queen). The rights and pro-
cedure of appeals on tax assessments are covered
in the section below "III. Courts".

An officer called the "Attorney-General" is the
public prosecutor and chief of the judicial and
administrative police forces for the whole col-
ony. He is the representative or attorney in legal
matters of the State (Kingdom), Holland gov-
ernment and the colony.


B. The Islands Individually.

The different islands (except Curacao) are,
each separately or in groups, governed by "Ge-
zaghebbers". Literally, "Gezaghebber" means
holder of authority but perhaps the best practical
translated term is "Deputy-Governor" which









will be used hereinafter. The terms "Governor
General" for the Governor of the Colony and
"Governor" for the Deputy Governor of the dif-
ferent islands are frequently used as the English
equivalents but are not technically correct. A
Deputy Governor holds office at the will of the
Governor and is charged with the enforcement
of the legal regulations on his island. He is
responsible for preservation of the internal
peace, order and safety.


The Deputy Governor is assisted by two local
councilors or "Landraden" who are elected for
alternating terms of two years each by the in-
habitants of the island who meet the suffrage
requirements, that is, who are entitled to vote.
With the Deputy Governor they form a council
known as the "Raad van Politie" which council
acts as an adviser to the Governor on all local
matters and has the right to represent and defend
the local interests before the King (Queen), the
Holland Parliament (States-General), the Gov-
ernor and the Colonial Council at Curacao.
Its more often exercised authority is to issue
regulations or local ordinances affecting internal
matters of the island, including public order,
morals and health. These local regulations are
subject to the prior approval of the Governor.









The authority to issue local regulations for
the island of Curacao is vested in the Colonial
Council. Certain functions exercised by local
councils in the other islands are performed for
the island of Curacao by special officials com-
missioned therewith.


C. Reference Books.

The official text of the "Constitution for the
Kingdom of the Netherlands" (1922) was pub-
lished in the colony in Publication Sheet 1923,
No. 33.

The official text of the "Regulation of the
Government of Curacao" may be found in Pub-
lication Sheet 1902, No. 22 with amendments
and modifications published in the "Publication
Sheets" 1904, No. 3; 1908, No. 30; 1920, No.
35; 1920, No. 44 and 1927, No. 43.

The Curacao lawyer commonly consults the
following works on political science:
Bordewijk, H. W. C.
Ontstaan en Ontwikkeling van het Staatsrecht van
Curagao (Origin and development of the political law
of Curagao). The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1911.
306 p.









Bordewijk, H. W. C.
Handelingen over de Reglementen op het beleid der
Regeering in de Kolonien Suriname en Curaqao. (Pro-
ceedings relative to the regulations of the administration
of the Government in the colonies, Surinam and Cura-
gao). The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1914. 873 p.

Kranenburg, R.
Het Nederlandsche Staatsrecht. (The Netherlands po-
litical law.) Haarlem (Holland), Tjeenk Willink &
Zoon, 2 vols. 1924-1925.


II. Sources of Law.

The colony Curacao, like Holland, has only
statute law and no "common law". Article 2
of the "General dispositions of the legislation
for the colony Curagao" (Algemeene Bepalingen
der Wetgeving voor de kolonie Curacao) reads:

"Custom gives no right, except when the general
ordinances refer to it."

This, of course, is the legislative standpoint,
for scientifically one source of law (statute law)
can not exclude another eventual source of law
(custom: common law). Jurisprudence devel-
oped by judicial decisions (so-called "judge
made law") is a source of law as a practical
matter, but not to any extent comparable to its









importance in the United States. Also, juridical
science is practically a source of law.

Before May I, 1869, when the different codes
and certain other legal regulations were put into
effect in the colony, old Dutch law and Roman
law had authority in the colony.

Since May 1, 1869 the principal legal regula-
tions (codes) in the colony are for the greater
part the same as in Holland. As there are no
published reports of the decisions rendered by
the colonial courts and as there exist no strictly
local juridical works, the Curacao lawyer must
consult the Dutch jurisprudence and juridical
works.

The Dutch law is derived from Roman law,
old Dutch law, old French law and old German
(especially Saxon) law.

The statutory regulations in force in the colony
are:
1. the general ordinances, which are:
a. the laws (wetten), which according to the pro.
visions of the Constitution of the Kingdom are
enacted for the colony or are declared to be appli-
cable to it (these laws are enacted by the Holland
Parliament: States-General, consisting of two
Chambers);










b. the royal decrees (Koninklijke Besluiten) in the
form prescribed by the Constitution of the King-
dom for general measures of government (alge-
meene maatregelen van bestuur) (the Privy
Council (Raad van State) must be heard for this
kind of royal decree);
c. the colonial ordinances (koloniale verordeningen)
promulgated by the Governor with approval of the
Colonial Council;
2. the decrees (besluiten), containing general measures,
enacted by the Governor within the limits of his
authority after hearing the comments of the Gov-
ernment's Council;
3. the local ordinances or regulations (keuren) of the
different islands issued within the limits of their
jurisdiction (Curagao: Governor-Colonial Coun-
cil; the other islands: local Council) ;
4. the treaties (verdragen) with foreign governments
concluded by the State (i. e., the Kingdom of the
Netherlands), as far as applicable in the colony.

All the above statutory regulations are pub-
lished in official form of the Publication Sheet
(Publicatieblad), printed at Willemstad in
Curacao (island) by the printer of "De Curaqao-
sche Courant" (the gazette in which official
news is published by the Government.) The
legal regulations mentioned under Ia, Ib and 4
are published in the first place in Holland in
the Official Gazette (Staatsblad).
14









Laws (enacted in Holland) and royal decrees
are modified or amplified by colonial ordinances
when such laws and royal decrees stipulate that
these modifications and amplifications may take
place by colonial ordinances.

Decrees may be issued only when a provision
of a royal decree, of a law (enacted in Holland),
or of a colonial ordinance has delegated to the
Governor the power to regulate certain matters
in that way. Decrees containing regulations of
a penal nature require a special delegation there-
to. Resolutions of the Governor are in gene-
ral based on legal regulations, although some-
times they are based on the general executive
power of the Governor.

An index of the publications appearing in the
Publication Sheets of Curacao is issued annually.
Two alphabetical indexes, one from 1816 to
1904, inclusive (Alphabetisch Register op de
Publicatien en de Publicatiebladen van de kolo-
nie Curacao, loopende van 1816 tot en met 1904,
581 p.), by C.C.J. van Romondt; and the other
from 1904 to 1931, inclusive (Supplement van
het Alphabetisch Register op de Publicatie-
bladen van Curacao, loopende van 1904 tot en
met 1931, 701 p.), compiled in 1932 at the solic-









itation of the West Indies Chamber at Am-
sterdam, have appeared. The index by van
Romondt was printed by F.J. Belinfante, for-
merly A.D. Schinkel, at The Hague. The al-
phabetic index of the West Indies Chamber
was printed by Amsterd. Boek-en Steendruk-
kerij v/h Ellerman, Harms & Co., N.V., at Am-
sterdam. Both are obtainable at the office of the
Government's Secretary at Willemstad, Curaqao.

Although these indexes do not follow the same
system, they are of much help to the practicing
lawyer. However, even with these records a
considerable amount of work and time frequent-
ly is required to ascertain the existence or non-
existence of specific legal regulations in the
colony.

The Publication Sheets are obtainable at the
office of "De Curaqaosche Courant" at Willem-
stad, Curacao. Only a limited number of copies
are printed and a very limited supply of copies
of certain old Publication Sheets are still avail-
able which constitute a handicap for a lawyer
practicing in the colony. Another difficulty is
that legal regulations which have been modified
in the course of years, are not obtainable in an
up to date form (i.e., with the full text in effect)
except in a few instances.









III. Courts.


The courts are governed by the royal decree of
May 22, 1914, No. 84 (Publication Sheet 1914,
No. 35), providing for the "Regulation of the
establishment and constitution of the judicial
power in the colony Curacao" as modified from
time to time, the last amendment being made by
royal decree of May 6, 1933, No. 113 (Publica-
tion Sheet 1933, No. 60). In 1930 the full text
of the royal decree of May 22, 1914, No. 84,
then (in 1930) in force was published (resolu-
tion of July 4, 1930, No. 808) in Publication
Sheet 1930, No. 56.

There are two circuit courts, one for the Lee-
ward Islands (sitting nearly every day of the
year at the islands of Curacao and Aruba and
about four periods a year at Bonaire) and the
other for the Windward Islands (sitting regular-
ly at the island of St. Martin and irregularly at
the islands of Saba and St. Eustatius). The cir-
cuit court, consisting of one judge, gives deci-
sions in the first instance in all matters, except
only in a few cases which do not come within its
jurisdiction, the principal of which are:

a. the granting of the "venia aetatia" (emancipation of
minors); article 469 of the Civil Code for the colony
Curacao;










b. the giving of advice to the Governor in the matter of
"letters of legitimation"; article 323 of the Civil Code
for the colony Curaqao;
c. matters of trade marks (royal decree published in the
Publication Sheet 1912, No. 52, as modified since);
article 82 of the royal decree published in the Publica-
tion Sheet 1918, No. 61;
d. resolutions in connection with the detention and re-
lease of lunatics (colonial ordinance published in the
Publication Sheet 1874, No. 10); article 82 of the
royal decree published in the Publication Sheet 1918,
No. 61; the ordinance on this matter now in force is
the ordinance published in the Publication Sheet 1922,
No. 14, as modified;
e. matters regarding the extradition of foreigners (royal
decree published in the Publication Sheet 1884, No.
17); article 82 of the royal decree published in the
Publication Sheet 1918, No. 61;
f. criminal cases involving capital punishment and crimes
related thereto; XXXIV of article 1 of the royal
decree published in the Publication Sheet 1918, No.
61.

The Court of Justice in Curacao (colony)
consists of a president, four members and three
substitute members. The president and the four
members of the court of justice are usually
graduates of a university in Holland though non-
graduates are eligible for appointment. They
all also exercise the office of judge of the circuit
courts, for which courts no judges are separately
appointed.









A session of the court of justice is convened
with a president and two members or substitute
members. When the president of the court of
justice is not present at a session (for instance,
when the court of justice has for decision an ap-
peal from the president of the court of justice's
decision given as judge of a circuit court), the
function of president of the court of justice is
performed by the oldest member in service.
The court of justice in general only gives deci-
sions in the second instance on appeals from deci-
sions of the judges of the circuit courts. It also
gives decisions in the first instance in the cases
indicated above as not coming within the juris-
diction of the circuit courts.
From the decisions of the court of justice given
in the first instance in civil cases appeal lies to
the High Court of the Netherlands at The
Hague. The only cassation by the High Court
of the Netherlands of decisions given by the
courts of the colony is the cassation "in the in-
terest of the law" of decisions in criminal cases.
The cassation in the interest of the law has no
consequences for the defendant (condemned or
not by a court of the colony). The jurisdiction
of the High Court of the Netherlands with re-
gard to the colony Curaqao is regulated in the
royal decrees published in the Publication Sheets
1909, No. 14 and 1914, No. 64.
19









Special courts are provided for tax appeals
and only in exceptional cases may a tax matter
be appealed to the regular civil courts. A "court
of appeal for income tax" and a "court of appeal
for land tax and use tax" sit at Willemstad,
Curacao. To these courts appeals from assess-
ments may be presented. The members of the
court of appeal for income tax are the salaried
members (as distinguished from substitute mem-
bers) of the Court of Justice. The members
of the "court of appeal for land tax and use tax"
are appointed by the Governor who is free to
select any one he pleases but the president or
chief justice of the Court of Justice is by
virtue of his office president of same.
The decisions of the courts in the colony
Curacao are not published. The Curacao law-
yer consults the reports of the courts in Holland.
"Weekblad van het Recht" is the principal
magazine in which the principal or interesting
decisions of the courts in Holland are published.
As mentioned above the principal legal regula-
tions (codes) in the colony are for the greater
part the same as in Holland. The "Weekblad
van het Recht" has now been published ninety-
five years. A short summary ("Overzicht") of
court decisions, legal literature, administrative
rulings, etc., is issued quarterly to subscribers of
this and other magazines. Another important
20









magazine devoted to Dutch jurisprudence is the
"Nederlandsche Jurisprudentie". The "Week-
blad voor Privaatrecht, Notarisambt en Regis-
tratie" contains articles of importance to jurid-
ical science and for the interpretation of civil
law especially.

"Leon's Rechtspraak" is a very extensive pub-
lication of decisions of the courts in Holland.
For a Curacao lawyer only the decisions regard-
ing the different, codes and the Dutch Bank-
ruptcy Act,-also regarding a few other Acts
(Laws) (e.g., the Lottery Act, The Trade Marks
Act, the Fire-arm Act),-are of interest. The
decisions interpreting the different Codes and
Laws (Acts) are published separately in this
work. There are other works containing deci-
sions of the courts in Holland, but in general
they are not consulted by a Curacao lawyer in
ordinary practice.

The lawyer in the colony Curacao is called
"praktizijn" (practitioner). To become a prac-
titioner one must have passed an examination
before a committee consisting of members of
the court of justice and of the attorney general
and be appointed "practitioner" by the Gover-
nor. Lawyers graduated at a university in Hol-
land need not undergo this examination and re-
quire no appointment by the Governor to prac-









tice law in the colony. The Court of Justice has
the supervision of the practitioners.

The office of notary in the colony (especially
at the island Curacao), as in Holland, is one
of great confidence and enjoys much esteem. To
become a notary at the island Curacao (four
posts), the applicant must pass an examination
before a committee consisting of members of the
Court of Justice and be appointed notary by the
Governor. The appointment is for life. One
who has passed the examination for notary in
Holland need not pass the examination in
Curacao. The notary (one only) for each of
the other islands is appointed by the Governor
and is not required to undergo the examination.
The Court of Justice has supervision over the
notaries.

IV. Civil Law.
The colony has had since May i, 1869 its
Civil Code, "Burgerlijk Wetboek voor de kolo-
nie Curacao", which was promulgated by royal
decree of September 4, 1868, No. 18 (Publica-
tion Sheet 1868, z6). It has been amended
from time to time.

The "Civil Code for the colony Curacao" con-
sists of four books, viz.: First Book: of persons;
22










Second Book: of things;.Third Book: of obliga-
tions; Fourth Book: of evidence and prescrip-
tion. The books are divided into titles with a
subdivision into sections.

The "Civil Code for the colony Curacao" is
different from the Netherlands Civil Code in
general only in connection with local conditions.
The other differences are:

a. the acts (deeds) by which immovable things are
alienated, divided or allotted, likewise those by which
real rights on immovable things are established or
transferred, must be executed in accordance with ar-
ticle 665 of the "Civil Code for the colony Curacao",
in "authentic" form, under penalty of nullity (article
671 of the Netherlands Civil Code does not stipulate
the requirement of an authentic writing, a private
writing is sufficient; an authentic act (deed) is that
which is executed by or before public functionaries
who are qualified thereto at the place where it has
been done);
b. provisions relating to "tithes" are not found in the
"Civil Code for the colony Curacao", but there exist
such provisions in the eighth title of the second book
of the Netherlands Civil Code (this difference is of
no practical importance);
c. provisions regarding labor contract (the "Civil Code
for the colony Curagao" contains in the fifth section
of the seventh title of the third book only three ar-
ticles "Of the hiring of domestics and workmen",
while in the Netherlands Civil Code there are, in an









interpolated seventh title "A", extensive provisions
regarding labor contract; the sixth and last section
of this new title of the Netherlands Civil Code (3rd
book) is the same as the sixth section of the seventh
title of the third book of the "Civil Code for the
colony Curagao", namely: "Of the undertaking of
work");
d. a special kind of lease of land, which is to be found
in the Netherlands Civil Code (article 1654) and
which does not exist and is of no practical importance
in the colony;
e. provisions applicable to (non-commercial) corpora-
tions (societies of persons) ; in the Civil Code for the
colony Curacao (Ninth Title of the third book) there
are more stipulations on this subject than in the
Netherlands Civil Code (tenth title of the third
book). A few stipulations on this matter were taken
up in the Civil Code for the colony Curacao from the
Law (drafted and voted in Holland) of 1855 on the
right of organization and meetings.

The full text of the "Burgerlijk Wetboek voor
de kolonie CuraSao" (Civil Code for the colony
CuraCao), by B. de Gaay Fortman, L.L.D. was
printed in 1932 at the "Algemeene Landsdruk-
kerij" at The Hague. After this publication of
the full text a modification of the Civil Code
was made and published in the Publication
Sheet 1933, No. 62 (ordinance of July 4, 1933).
De Gaay Fortman's work is of great use not
only because it gives the full text in force, but
also because at the foot of each article notes are









found, indicating the number of the correspond-
ing articles of the Netherlands Civil Code and
indicating the related provisions of the Curacao
legislation.

De Gaay Fortman's work further contains,
besides the text of the Civil Code, the "general
provisions of the legislation for the colony
Curacao" (royal decree of September 4, 1868,
No. 18, Publication Sheet i868, No. 16, modi-
fied since, ultimately by the ordinance of May
20, 1931, Publication Sheet i931, No. 88), the
"Regulations on the transition from the former
to the new Legislation" (royal decree of Septem-
ber 4, 1868, No. 18, Publication Sheet i868, No.
16) and the "Regulation of the Notary's Office
in the colony Curacao" (royal decree of Septem-
ber 4, I868, No. 18, Publication Sheet i868, No.
16, modified from time to time, the last time
being by ordinance of March 23, 1932, Publica-
tion Sheet 1932, No. 33).

An English translation of the "Civil Code for
the colony Curacao" (text of 1875) by I. H. R.
Beaujon was published at Curacao in 1875 by
A. L. S. Miller, C. J. & A. W. Neuman Fz.
It is now out of print.

Works on civil law as well as on other laws
used by a lawyer in Curacao in the usual practice
25










are all with reference to Dutch laws. As pre-
viously mentioned there are in general no local
juridical works.
A Curacao lawyer consults Fruin's "Neder-
landsche Wetboeken" (Netherlands Codes),
when studying or reviewing decisions of the
courts in Holland. This work includes the Civil
Code as well as the other Codes and the Dutch
Bankruptcy Act (Curaqao: Bankruptcy De-
cree). A new edition has appeared about every
four years-the last one was published in 1932
by Martinus Nijhoff at The Hague.
The following Dutch works on civil law are
commonly consulted by the Curacao lawyer:
Asser, C.
"Handleiding tot de Beoefening van het Nederlandsch
Burgerlijk Recht" (Handbook for the Study of the
Netherlands Civil Law). This is perhaps the most
popular work on Civil Law. Zwolle (Holland), W. E.
J. Tjeenk Willink, 1929-1932-5 volumes and intro-
ductory volume.
Veegens, Oppenheim:
"Schets van het Nederlandsch Burgerlijk Recht"
(Sketch of the Netherlands Civil Law). A short but
clear resume of the Netherlands civil law. 3rd ed. Haar-
lem (Holland), H. D. Tjeenk Willink, 1923-1931. 3 v.
Land, N. K. F.:
"Verklaring van het Burgerlijk Wetboek" (Explana-
tion of the Civil Code). Used in the practice as a com-










plement to Asser's work but incomplete. 2nd ed.
Haarlem (Holland), De Erven F. Bohn. N. V., 1914-
1933. 6 v.
Suijling, J. Ph.:
"Inleiding tot het Burgerlijk Recht" (Introduction to
the Civil Law and used for supplementary research).
Incomplete. Haarlem (Holland), De Erven F. Bohn,
N.V., 1918-1931. 3 v.
Opzoomer, C. W.:
"Het Burgerlijk Wetboek Verklaard" (The Civil
Code Explained). 16 v. This work may be called
"philosophic" and is not used to any extent in the
practice.
Diephuis, G.:
"Nederlandsch Burgerlijk Recht" (Netherlands Civil
Law). This old work is extensive and clear and
though obsolete, it is still sometimes consulted. (Gro-
ningen (Holland)-J. B. Wolters, 1885-1890-13 v.
Klaassen, J. G.:
"Huwelijksgoederen-en Erfrecht" (Marital property
law and succession law). 4th edition. A work of
great authority. Arnhem (Holland), S. Gonda Quint,
1924. 528 p.
Russel, Ch. H.D.M.J.:
"Verbintenissen-en Contractenleer" (Doctrine of ob-
ligations and contracts). Very useful in the practice.
Zwolle (Holland), W.E.J. Tjeenk Willink, 1926.
455 p.
Hofman, L. C:
"De Algemeene Leer der Verbintenissen" (The gen-
eral doctrine of obligations). Useful in the practice.










Leiden (Holland), Universiteitsboekhandel en Anti-
quariaat J. Ginsberg, 1930. 286 p.
Schermer, J. P. W.:
"Ontwerpen van Notarieele Akten" (Drafts of Notari-
al Deeds). 6 v. Printed by S. Gonda Quint at Arn-
hem (Holland) and by N.V. Uitgevers-Maatschappij
W.E.J. Tjeenk Willink at Zwolle (Holland). The
first five volumes contain formulas for deeds in civil
law matters with important notes. The 6th volume is
of interest for commercial law. There have been as
many as four and five editions of various parts of this
work. The earlier editions are all incomplete. (See
same citation under "Commercial Law" below.)

Also, the lawyer in Curacao occasionally con-
sults certain works on old Dutch Law and even
on Roman Law, such as:
de Groot, Hugo:
"Inleidinghe tot het Hollandsche Rechts-geleerd-heid"
(Introduction to the Dutch Juridical Science). 2nd ed-
ition by S. J. Fockema Andreae. Arnhem (Holland),
S. Gonda Quint, 1895. 2 v.
van Leeuwen, Simon:
"Het Roomsch Hollandsch Recht" (The Roman Dutch
Law). Out of print. 1783. 2 v.
Huber, Ulrik:
"Heedensdaegse Rechtsgeleertheyt" (Modern jurispru-
dence). Out of print. 1768. 1020 p.
Voet, Johannes:
"Commentarius ad Pandectas" (Comments on the Pan-
dectae). Latin. Out of print. 1829. 3 v.









Hijmans, I. Henri:
"Romeinsch Zakenrecht" (Roman Property Law) 2nd
edition. Zwolle (Holland), W.E.J. Tjeenk Willink,
1925. 1 v.
"Romeinsch Verbintenissenrecht" (Roman Law on Ob-
ligations). 2nd edition. Zwolle (Holland), W.E.J.
Tjeenk Willink, 1927. 1 v.

V. Commercial Law.
By royal decree of September 4, 1868, No. 18
(Publication Sheet 1868, No. 16) the "Wetboek
van Koophandel voor de kolonie Curacao"
(Code of Commerce for the colony Curacao)
was promulgated. This code became effective as
of May i, 1869. It has been modified several
times since that date.

The "Code of Commerce for the colony
Curacao" today consists of two books, viz.: First
Book: of the commerce in general; Second
Book: of the rights and obligations resulting
from navigation. The books are divided into
titles with a subdivision into sections.

The "Code of Commerce for the colony Cura-
cao" now differs principally from the Nether-
lands Code of Commerce in the following:
a. in the colonial code there are no provisions regarding:
1. the exchange (bourse);
2. brokers;









b. provisions relating to corporations;
c. maritime regulations.

The differences mentioned under b. and c. are
expected to be eliminated in the near future by
introduction of the new Dutch regulations on
these matters into the "Code of Commerce for
the colony Curacao".

Formerly, bankruptcy regulations formed a
part (3rd Book) of the Code of Commerce but
there is now in effect a separate bankruptcy act
in Holland. Provisions similar to those of this
act were extended by royal decree in 1914 to the
colony. A new royal decree covering the same
subject was published in Publication Sheet 193I,
No. 58 and became effective on July 1, 1932. This
contains all regulations relative to bankruptcy
which are now in effect in Curacao. The full
text of this royal decree is found in "Het
Curacaosch Faillissementsbesluit 1931" (The
Curacao bankruptcy decree I931), by B. de Gaay
Fortman, L.L.D., and printed at the "Algemeene
Landsdrukkerij" at The Hague. The notes at
the foot of each article, indicating the number of
the corresponding articles of the Bankruptcy
Act (for Holland) and the related provisions of
the Curaqao legislation, make de Gaay Fort-
man's work useful in practice.










The text of the royal decree on bankruptcy as
published by de Gaay Fortman and in the Pub-
lication Sheet 1931, No. 58, has been modified
by the Publication Sheet 1932, No. 53.

The only English translation of the "Code of
Commerce for the colony Curacao" is that by
J.G.L.I. van Romondt, which covers the text
of 1875. This work was printed by A.L.S. Mul-
ler & C.J. & A.W. Neuman Fz. at Curacao but
is now out of print and unobtainable.

The following Dutch works on Commercial
Law are commonly consulted by the Curagao
lawyer:

Molengraaff, W.L.P.A.:
"Leiddraad bij de Beoefening van het Nederlandsche
Handelsrecht" (Guide to the study of the Netherlands
commercial law). This work is of authority. 5th edi-
tion. Haarlem (Holland), De Erven F. Bohn N.V. v.
1, 1923. v. 2, 1927.
"Inleiding tot het Nederlandsche Handelsrecht" (In-
troduction to the Netherlands Commercial Law). A
short but clear sketch of the Netherlands commercial
law. 3rd edition. Haarlem (Holland), De Erven F.
Bohn, N.V., 1930. 382 p.
"De Faillissementswet Verklaard" (The Bankruptcy Act
Explained). An extensive work. 2nd edition. Haar-
lem (Holland), De Erven F. Bohn, N.V. 1914, 730 p.










Polak, M.:
"Handboek voor het Nederlandsche Handels-en Fail
lissementsrecht" (Handbook for the Netherlands Com-
mercial-and Bankruptcy Law). While the 2nd and
the 3rd volumes are not complete, the work is of impor-
tance. Groningen, The Hague, J.B. Wolters, U.M.,
1916-1929. 3 v.
Veegens, J. D.:
"De Wet op het Faillissement en de Surseance van
Betaling" (The Bankruptcy and Suspension of Payment
Act). 5th edition. This small but practical work is
frequently consulted. Haarlem (Holland), H. D.
Tjeenk Willink & Zoon, 1917.

Zevenbergen, Chr.:
"Leerboek van het Nederlandsche Recht der Order-en
Toonderpapieren" (Textbook of the Netherlands Law
of Negotiable Instruments). This work is frequently
consulted. Arnhem (Holland), S. Gonda Quint, 1924.
323 p.
Nolst Trenite, J.G.L.:
"Nederlandsch Assurantierecht. Brandverzekering"
(Netherlands insurance law. Fire Insurance). Haarlem
(Holland), De Erven F. Bohn, N.V., 1902. 391 p.
"Nederlandsch Assurantierecht. Zeeverzekering"
(Netherlands insurance law. Marine Insurance).
Authoritative. Haarlem (Holland), De Erven F.
Bohn, N.V., 1907. 2 v.

Dorhout Mees, T.J.:
"Verzekeringsrecht" (Insurance Law). Zwolle (Hol-
land), N.V. Uitgevers-Maatschappij W.E.J. Tjeenk
Willink, 1929. 580 p.

32









Schermer, J.P.W.
"Ontwerpen van Notarieele Akten" (Drafts of Notarial
Deeds). 6 v. Printed by S. Gonda Quint at Arnhem
(Holland) and by N.V. Uitgevers-Maatschappij W.E.J.
Tjeenk Willink at Zwolle (Holland). Only the 6th
volume contains drafts of deeds regarding Commercial
Law. It is incomplete. The notes under the drafts are
of value. The first five volumes are of interest for
Civil Law. (See same citation under "Civil Law"
above.)

VI. Civil Procedure.
The "Curaqaosch Wetboek van Burgerlijke
Rechtsvordering" (Curaqao Code of Civil Pro-
cedure), in effect since July i, 1932, was promul-
gated by royal decree of April 16, 1931, No. o5
(Publication Sheet I93i, No. 45); it has been
amended by the colonial ordinance of August
27, 1931 (Publication Sheet i93i, No. 63).
The "Curacao Code of Civil Procedure" con-
sists of three books, viz: First Book: Of the
procedure for the Circuit Court and for the
Court of Justice; Second Book: Of the execution
of decisions and public documents; Third Book:
Of administration of justice of distinct nature.
The books are divided into titles with a sub-
division into sections.
The text now in force of this new Code (the
former one was of 1868) with notes at the foot of









each article, indicating the number of the cor-
responding article of the Netherlands Code of
Civil Procedure and indicating the related stip-
ulations of the Curacao legislation, is to be found
in B. de Gaay Fortman's "Het Curaqaosch
Wetboek van Burgerlijke Rechtsvordering"
(The Curacao Code of Civil Procedure), print-
ed at the Algemeene Landsdrukkerij at The
Hague.

Besides the differences in connection with the
kinds of courts and their jurisdiction in Holland
and in the colony, the most important differ-
ences between the Netherlands and the Curacao
Code of Civil Procedure are:

1. the judge in Holland is quite passive; in the colony
Curacao he has lost much of this passiveness;
2. in the colony the parties are allowed, and it is the
common practice for them to handle their cases verb-
ally, before the court, while in Holland such is not
allowed except at sessions of the court for less im-
portant cases ("Kantongerecht": District Court); the
so-called "handling of the case in writing" is the
rule in Holland;
3. in Holland the appearance of the parties to defend
their cases themselves is only allowed at court for less
important cases ("Kantongerecht"; District Court),
in all other cases parties must be represented by a
lawyer graduated at a Holland university; in Curacao
the parties may themselves appear in the courts in










all cases; they also may be represented by anybody
who is duly authorized thereto by a power of attorney
(a practitioner, Curagao lawyer, need not show or
produce any power of attorney and only states at a
session that he represents a party). However, this
practice will probably be modified within a short
time; the Colonial Council has approved lately an
ordinance restricting the representation in courts by
non-practitioners on those islands where there are two
or more practitioners.
An English translation was made by I.H.R.
Beaujon, of the former Code of Civil Procedure,
the "Wetboek van Burgerlijke Rechtsvordering
voor de Kolonie Curaqao" (Code of Civil proce-
dure for the colony Curacao) of 1868. This
translation was printed in 1876 by A.L.S. Muller
& C.J. & A.W. Neuman Fz. at CuraCao but is
now out of print.
The following Dutch works on its law of civil
procedure are commonly consulted by the
Curacao lawyer:
van Rossem Bz., W.:
"Het Nederlandsche Wetboek van Burgerlijke Rechts-
vordering" (The Netherlands Code of Civil Proce-
dure). The work is of authority. Arnhem (Holland),
S. Gonda Quint. V. 1, 1912. V. 2, 1913. 2 v.
Star Busmann, C. W.
"Hoofdstukken van Burgerlijke Rechtsvordering"
(Chapters of Civil Procedure). Incomplete. Haarlem
(Holland), De Erven F. Bohn, N.V., 1920-1930.
4 v.










van Boneval Faure, R.:
"Het Nederlandsch Burgerlijk Procesrecht" (The
Netherlands Civil Procedural Law), Leiden (Holland),
This work is extensive but old. Not much consulted
today. Boekhandel en Drukkerij v/h E. J. Bril, 1893-
1901. 5 v.
Polenaar, B. J.:
"Schets van het Nederlandsche Burgerlijk Procesrecht"
(Sketch of the Netherlands Civil Procedural Law). This
sketch is elementary and more a work for students.
6th ed. Haarlem (Holland), H.D. Tjeenk Willink
& Zoon, 1925. 436 p.
Nolen, W.:
"Handleiding voor Arbiters" (Handbook for Arbiters).
2nd edition. The Hague, N.V. Boekhandel v/h Gebr.
Belinfante, 1927. 282 p.
van den Honert Thz., Joan:
"Formulierboek der onderscheidene Akten behoorende
tot de Burgerlijke Rechtsvordering" (A form book with
useful foot notes). 7th ed. The Hague, N.V. Boek-
handel v/h Gebr. Belinfante, 1928. 560 p.


VII. Criminal Law.

The "Wetboek van Strafrecht voor de kolonie
Curaqao" (Criminal Code for the colony Cura-
gao), in effect since April I, 1918, was made
effective by royal decree of October 4, 1913,
No. 61 (Publication Sheet 1913, No. 67). The
code was subsequently partially modified and
amplified and the full text now (1934) in force









is expected to be published within the near
future. The "Criminal Code for the colony
Curacao" consists of three books, viz: First
Book: general provisions; Second Book: fel-
onies; Third Book: misdemeanors. The books
are subdivided into titles.

The previous "Criminal Code for the colony
Curacao" was that of I868. The Netherlands
Criminal Code of 1886 succeeded the Code in
effect in Holland in 1868 and the latter, like the
"Criminal Code for the colony Curacao" of
1868, was in substance a reprint of the French
"Code Penal" with a few modifications.

In general, it can be said that, besides the dif-
ferences in connection with local conditions, the
principal difference between the Netherlands
Criminal Code and the "Criminal Code for the
colony Curaqao" in force is, that the former con-
tains regulations which are not found in the
latter, viz.:
1. with regard to places of confinement for juvenile
delinquents;
2. with regard to psychopathic delinquents;
3. with regard to the placing of certain kinds of delin-
quents in a government's tramp-colony.
An English translation was made by J.G.L.I.
van Romondt, of the former "Criminal Code










for the colony Curacao" (of 1868). The new
Code is very different from the former, so that
the translation is not of much importance any
more. The translation was printed in 1872 by
A.L.S. Muller & C.J. & A.W. Neuman Fz. at
Curacao but it is now out of print.

The following Dutch works on Criminal Law
are commonly consulted by the Curacao law-
yer:

Simons, D.:
"Leerboek van het Nederlandsche Strafrecht" (Text-
book of the Netherlands Criminal Law). This work
enjoys much authority. 5th ed. Groningen (Hol-
land), P. Noordhoff, V. 1, 1927. V. 2, 1929.
Noyon, T. J.:
"Het Wetboek van Strafrecht" (The Criminal Law).
This work is important and much consulted. Arnhem
(Holland), S. Gonda Quint, 1926-1927. 3 v.
van Hamel, G. A.:
"Inleiding tot de Studie van het Nederlandsche Straf-
recht" (Introduction to the Study of the Netherlands
Criminal Law). 4th edition. The Hague, De Erven
Bohn; and Haarlem, Gebr. Belinfante, 1927. 626 p.

VIII. Criminal Procedure.

The "Wetboek van Strafvordering voor de ko-
lonie Curacao" (Code of Criminal Procedure
for the colony Curacao), in effect since April









I, 1918, was made effective by the royal decree
of May 22, 1914, No. 83 (Publication Sheet
1914, No. 21). This code has since been par-
tially modified and amplified. The "Code of
Criminal Procedure for the colony Curacao"
is the only Curacao Code which is not divided
into books. It is divided into titles with a few
subdivisions into sections.

The former "Code of Criminal Procedure for
the colony Curacao" was enacted in 1868 and
was succeeded in 1886 by the "Netherlands
Code of Criminal Procedure." A new Nether-
lands Code of Criminal Procedure became ef-
fective on January I, 1926. The "Code of Crimi-
nal Procedure for the colony Curacao" now
(1934) in effect (since 1918) contains more or
less the same regulations as the Netherlands
Code of Criminal Procedure of 1886. The dif-
ferences between these two Codes are only in
connection with local conditions, principally re-
lating to the different kinds of courts and their
jurisdiction in the colony and in Holland.

From the foregoing it would appear that
works and jurisprudence on criminal procedure
consulted by the Curagao lawyer are Dutch
works and jurisprudence published before Jan-
uary I, 1926, the date when the new Nether-
lands Code of Criminal Procedure was put into
39










effect. A new code of criminal procedure is
expected within the near future for the colony.
It is predicted in Curacao that this new code
will be the same as the Netherlands code of
criminal procedure now in effect, modified only
to fit local conditions.

An English translation was made by J.A.H.
Illidge of the former "Code of Criminal Pro-
cedure for the colony Curacao" of 1868. This
translation is of little or no value as the new
Code is different from the former. It was pub-
lished in 1872 by A.L.S. Muller & C.J. & A.W.
Neuman Fz. at Curaqao, but is now out of print.

The following Dutch works on criminal pro-
cedural law are commonly consulted by the
Curaqao lawyer:
Simons, D.:
"Beknopte Handleiding tot het Wetboek van Straf-
vordering" (Concise Handbook for the code of crimi-
nal procedure). This work has considerable authority.
6th edition. Haarlem (Holland), De Erven F. Bohn,
N.V., 1919. 315 p. (A 7th edition was published
in 1925 but contains the text of the Netherlands code
effective January 1, 1926.)
de Bosch Kemper, J.:
"Wetboek van Strafvordering" (Code of criminal pro-
cedure). Amsterdam, Johannes Muller, 1838-1840.
3 v.









de Pinto, A.A.:
"Het Herziene Wetboek van Strafvordering" (The re-
vised code of criminal procedure). Zwolle (Holland),
W.E.J. Tjeenk Willink, 1886-1888. 2 v.
Noyon, T.J.:
"Het Wetboek van Strafvordering" (The code of crimi-
nal procedure). This work only exists in an edition
with text of the new Netherlands Code of Criminal
Procedure effective January 1, 1926. Arnhem (Hol-
land), S. Gonda Quint, 1926. 777 p.

IX. International Law.
A. Public International Law
CuraSao, being a colony and not an indepen-
dent nation, has no international relations except
as a part of Holland. The latter's consular and
diplomatic service act, of course, for the colony.
Owing to the geographical location of the latter
various treaties (verdragen) between the King-
dom of the Netherlands and foreign govern-
ments are applicable to. it and its trade. The
Curacao lawyer is more of an "internationalist"
than the American lawyer. The work of au-
thority on the international civil law in the
Netherlands is Kosters, Jr., Het international
burgerlijk recht in Nederland, Haarlem (Hol-
land), De Erven F. Bohn, N.V., 1917. 848 p.

The statute or act establishing the Permanent
Court of International Justice at The Hague









de Pinto, A.A.:
"Het Herziene Wetboek van Strafvordering" (The re-
vised code of criminal procedure). Zwolle (Holland),
W.E.J. Tjeenk Willink, 1886-1888. 2 v.
Noyon, T.J.:
"Het Wetboek van Strafvordering" (The code of crimi-
nal procedure). This work only exists in an edition
with text of the new Netherlands Code of Criminal
Procedure effective January 1, 1926. Arnhem (Hol-
land), S. Gonda Quint, 1926. 777 p.

IX. International Law.
A. Public International Law
CuraSao, being a colony and not an indepen-
dent nation, has no international relations except
as a part of Holland. The latter's consular and
diplomatic service act, of course, for the colony.
Owing to the geographical location of the latter
various treaties (verdragen) between the King-
dom of the Netherlands and foreign govern-
ments are applicable to. it and its trade. The
Curacao lawyer is more of an "internationalist"
than the American lawyer. The work of au-
thority on the international civil law in the
Netherlands is Kosters, Jr., Het international
burgerlijk recht in Nederland, Haarlem (Hol-
land), De Erven F. Bohn, N.V., 1917. 848 p.

The statute or act establishing the Permanent
Court of International Justice at The Hague










contained in the royal decree of September 6,
1921 is reprinted in Publication Sheet 1921,
No. 69.


B. Conflict of Laws.

The work on private international law or con-
flict of laws of authority for the Curacao at-
torney is

Jitta, D. Josefus:
International privaatrecht. Haarlem (Holland), H.
D. Tjeenk Willink & Zoon, 1916. 692 p.

THOMAS W. PALMER,
of the New York Bar.

S.G.C.v.d. VEEN ZEPPENFELDT,
of the Curacao Bar.

New York,
April, 1934




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs