Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary can continue checks based on ethnicity

22 September 2021


The Royal Netherlands Military Constabulary (Koninklijke Marechaussee) may continue with their practice of carrying out border checks partly based on ethnicity. Houthoff is giving pro bono assistance to a coalition of public organisations that aim, through the courts, to force the State to cease this policy that leads to discrimination.

Thijs van Aerde: "This judgment is in nobody’s interest. The fight to bring an end to ethnic profiling will continue."

Read the court's decision here. Only available in Dutch.

10 JUNE 2021
On 15 June, the District Court of The Hague will consider the issue of ethnic profiling by the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (Koninklijke Marechaussee, the police corps of the Dutch military). The State of the Netherlands is being sued by a coalition of private citizens and social organisations. According to current policy, members of the Marechaussee are allowed to look at ethnicity when conducting border controls. As this constitutes discrimination, the coalition has applied to the court to end these practices.

Houthoff is representing two individuals and anti-discrimination organisation RADAR on a pro bono basis in proceedings against the Marechaussee. Allied with Houthoff in these proceedings are the Public Interest Litigation Project of the Dutch Section of the International Commission of Jurists (PILP-NJCM), the Dutch branch of Amnesty International, Controle Alt Delete and anti-discrimination organisation RADAR.

Houthoff operates at the heart of society, which should be built on equality,” Thijs van Aerde explains. “We are proud to be helping with this fundamental and important case.
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