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Old 04-20-2019, 10:33 AM
Serene Highness
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: St Thomas, U.S. Minor Outlying Islands
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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
The Second Chamber of the States-General (the lower House of Parliament) urges the Government to review the automatism of exchanging Orders during State Visits.

Reason: the Sultan of Brunei has been made a Knight Grand-Cross in the Order of the Netherlands' Lion. In the meantime the Sultan has endorsed Sharia Law in Brunei, which means the chopping of hands, the stoning of gay men and women, the caning of men and women blamed for adultery, etc.

The Second Chamber finds it "utmost undesirable" that the Sultan has a Dutch Order while his policy contradicts everything the Dutch stand for: human rights, individual freedom, tolerance, etc.

The Chancellery of the Netherlands' Orders has answered that it is only possible to revoke an Order when the bearer has been convicted with at minimum one year of imprisonment. So according the current statutes of the various Netherlands' Orders, it is not possible to take action against the Sultan.

Some parties have made an appeal to the King and Princess Beatrix to send their Brunei Orders back to the Sultan. The exchange of Orders during State Visits happens under responsibility of the Cabinet. So it are not the King or Princess Beatrix to decide on this. That is up to the Cabinet. The Second Chamber asks the Cabinet to review the pure automatism of handing out an Order without even reviewing any merit to reveive such.

The three Dutch State Orders (under ministerial responsibility) :
- de Militaire Willems-Orde
- de Orde van de Nederlandsche Leeuw
- de Orde van Oranje-Nassau

The two Dutch royal Orders (to the King's own pleasure) :
- Orde in de Gouden Leeuw van het Huis Nassau
- Huisorde van Oranje
Wouldn't ending the automatism of orders worsen the problem? To grant an order on merit would surely be perceived as an endorsement of the bearer, even more than an order automatically gained.

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Old 04-20-2019, 11:31 AM
Duc_et_Pair's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: City, Netherlands
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
Wouldn't ending the automatism of orders worsen the problem? To grant an order on merit would surely be perceived as an endorsement of the bearer, even more than an order automatically gained.
That is true. Maybe the policy will become: no any exchange of Orders at all. With a probable exception for the King, as head of the Royal House and the royal dynasty, handing out royal (not state) Orders to members of befriended royal families.

But this would have caused problems as well in the Brunei case: with a royal (and not a state) Order also there would be an appeal on the King to revoke the Order given to the Sultan.

So maybe we will end up with only exchanging Orders to royal families from countries having comparable societies with respect for human rights and freedoms (European and Japanese monarchies).

Even an Order to a member of the Jordanian royal family has been criticized: in 2018 Prince Zeid bin Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein of Jordan, then the outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was given a Dutch Order on nomination of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Prince however was embroiled in a conflict about his apparently inadequate handling of accusations of abuse by French troops during an UN mission. The minister pushed this Order for the Prince, to the chagrin of the Second Chamber. (Orders require no parliamentary debate or approval).

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