A trial court in The Hague granted a preliminary injunction Monday against the Dutch government’s curfew, which was instituted to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The curfew lasted from 9 PM to 4:30 AM and was enacted under the government’s emergency powers, which enabled the executive branch to bypass the Senate and House of Representatives.
The trial court ruled that the curfew was unjustified because there was no “acute emergency” in the Netherlands, and it resulted in significant restrictions on freedom of movement and freedom of privacy. The case was brought by Viruswaarheid (“Virus Truth”), a Dutch group opposed to COVID lockdowns.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte immediately urged people to continue to follow the curfew, despite the court ruling. The curfew has been the target of significant public ire; the Netherlands has not instituted a curfew since World War II.
An appellate court granted the government’s request to extend the curfew within minutes of the nightly curfew beginning. The appellate court granted the emergency request to extend the curfew until next week when a full hearing could be held on the permissibility of the curfew.
Coronavirus restrictions have been contentious in the Netherlands. The most recent curfew resulted in three days of riots in late January across the Netherlands, including in major cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague.