Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Government Destroys the State of Law

“Ministers, officials and other government employees have grossly abused their authority in all levels of government. They have broken the norms of the state of law and knowingly violated the rights of a civilian.” This was stated by university lecturer Joep van der Vliet of the Faculty of Law at the University of Amsterdam, in reference to the so-called Spijkers Affair. Van der Vliet’s students in the field of professional ethics have been investigating the case, which has now been running for 23 years. Fred Spijkers was a social worker at the Defense Department who in 1984was instructed by the ministry to inform the widow of a soldier killed by a mine, that her husband had died due to his own mistakes. The ministry, however, knew for 14 years already that the explosive mechanism of the mine was faulty. Van der Vliet said that the authorities had ruined Spijkers’ life in order to hide their mistakes. He added that he knew of many other more or less similar cases.

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