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Netherlands -- Constitution Index Page Document Table of Contents

    { Adopted on: 17 Feb 1983 }
    { ICL Document Status: 27 June 2008 }

    { Editor's Note
    The 2008 ICL edition was updated by A. Meister. The text of the document is based on the official publication. It represents the status of the Constitution up to and including the Amendment of 27 June 2008. In the first Chapter, Article titles have been added in square brackets and the use of "shall" has been changed to ICL translation standards. }

 

Chapter 1  Fundamental RightsNo_Preamble

 
Article 1  [Equality]
All persons in the Netherlands are treated equally in equal circumstances.  Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race, or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever is not permitted.
 
Article 2  [Citizenship]
(1) Dutch nationality is regulated by Act of Parliament.
(2) The admission and expulsion of aliens is regulated by Act of Parliament.
(3) Extradition may take place only pursuant to a treaty.  Further regulations concerning extradition are laid down by Act of Parliament.
(4) Everyone has the right to leave the country, except in the cases laid down by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 3  [Eligibility Right]
All Dutch nationals are equally eligible for appointment to public service.
 
Article 4  [Right to Vote]
Every Dutch national has an equal right to elect the members of the general representative bodies and to stand for election as a member of those bodies, subject to the limitations and exceptions prescribed by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 5  [Petitions]
Everyone has the right to submit petitions in writing to the competent authorities.
 
Article 6  [Religion, Belief]
(1) Everyone has the right to manifest freely his religion or belief, either individually or in community with others, without prejudice to his responsibility under the law.
(2) Rules concerning the exercise of this right other than in buildings and enclosed places may be laid down by Act of Parliament for the protection of health, in the interest of traffic and to combat or prevent disorders.
 
Article 7  [Expression]
(1) No one requires prior permission to publish thoughts or opinions through the press, without prejudice to the responsibility of every person under the law.
(2) Rules concerning radio and television are laid down by Act of Parliament.  There is no prior supervision of the content of a radio or television broadcast.
(3) No one is required to submit thoughts or opinions for prior approval in order to disseminate them by means other than those mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, without prejudice to the responsibility of every person under the law.  The holding of performances open to persons younger than sixteen years of age may be regulated by Act of Parliament in order to protect good morals.
(4) The preceding paragraphs do not apply to commercial advertising.
 
Article 8  [Association]
The right of association is recognized. This right may be restricted by Act of Parliament in the interest of public order.
 
Article 9  [Assembly]
(1) The right of assembly and demonstration is recognized, without prejudice to the responsibility of everyone under the law.
(2) Rules to protect health, in the interest of traffic and to combat or prevent disorders may be laid down by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 10  [Privacy]
(1) Everyone has the right to respect for his privacy, without prejudice to restrictions laid down by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
(2) Rules to protect privacy are laid down by Act of Parliament in connection with the recording and dissemination of personal data.
(3) Rules concerning the rights of persons to be informed of data recorded concerning them and of the use that is made thereof, and to have such data corrected are laid down by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 11  [Personal Integrity]
Everyone has the right to inviolability of his person, without prejudice to restrictions laid down by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
 
Article 12  [Home]
(1) Entry into a home against the will of the occupant is permitted only in the cases laid down by or pursuant to Act of Parliament, by those designated for the purpose by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
(2) Prior identification and notice of purpose is required in order to enter a home under the preceding paragraph, subject to the exceptions prescribed by Act of Parliament.  A written report of the entry must be issued to the occupant.
(3) A written report of the entry is issued to the occupant as soon as possible. If the entry was made in the interests of state security or criminal proceedings, the issue of the report may be postponed under rules to be laid down by Act of Parliament. A report need not be issued in cases, to be determined by Act of Parliament, where such issue would never be in the interests of state security.
 
Article 13  [Secrecy of Communication]
(1) The privacy of correspondence may not be violated except, in the cases laid down by Act of Parliament, by order of the courts.
(2) The privacy of the telephone and telegraph may not be violated except, in the cases laid down by Act of Parliament, by or with the authorization of those designated for the purpose by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 14  [Property]
(1) Expropriation may take place only in the public interest and on prior assurance of full compensation, in accordance with regulations laid down by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
(2) Prior assurance of full compensation is not required if in an emergency immediate expropriation is called for.
(3) In the cases laid down by or pursuant to Act of Parliament there is a right to full or partial compensation if in the public interest the competent authority destroys property or renders it unusable or restricts the exercise of the owner's rights to it.
 
Article 15  [Personal Liberty, Arrest]
(1) Other than in the cases laid down by or pursuant to Act of Parliament, no one may be deprived of his liberty.
(2) Anyone who has been deprived of his liberty other than by order of a court may request a court to order his release.  In such a case he must be heard by the court within a period to be laid down by Act of Parliament.  The court orders his immediate release if it considers the deprivation of liberty to be unlawful.
(3) The trial of a person who has been deprived of his liberty pending trial takes place within a reasonable period.
(4) A person who has been lawfully deprived of his liberty may be restricted in the exercise of fundamental rights in so far as the exercise of such rights is not compatible with the deprivation of liberty.
 
Article 16  [Nulla Poena Sine Lege]
No offence is punishable unless it was an offence under the law at the time it was committed.
 
Article 17  [Right to be Heard]
No one may be prevented against his will from being heard by the courts to which he is entitled to apply under the law.
 
Article 18  [Right to Counsel]
(1) Everyone may be legally represented in legal and administrative proceedings.
(2) Rules concerning the granting of legal aid to persons of limited means are laid down by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 19  [Work]
(1) It is the concern of the authorities to promote the provision of sufficient employment.
(2) Rules concerning the legal status and protection of working persons and concerning co-determination are laid down by Act of Parliament.
(3) The right of every Dutch national to a free choice of work is recognized, without prejudice to the restrictions laid down by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
 
Article 20  [Welfare]
(1) It is the concern of the authorities to secure the means of subsistence of the population and to achieve the distribution of wealth.
(2) Rules concerning entitlement to social security are laid down by Act of Parliament.
(3) Dutch nationals resident in the Netherlands who are unable to provide for themselves have a right, to be regulated by Act of Parliament, to aid from the authorities.
 
Article 21  [Environment]
It is the concern of the authorities to keep the country habitable and to protect and improve the environment.
 
Article 22  [Health]
(1) The authorities take steps to promote the health of the population.
(2) It is the concern of the authorities to provide sufficient living accommodation.
(3) The authorities promote social and cultural development and leisure activities.
 
Article 23  [Education]
(1) Education is the constant concern of the Government.
(2) All persons are free to provide education, without prejudice to the authorities' right of supervision and, with regard to forms of education designated by law, its right to examine the competence and moral integrity of teachers, to be regulated by Act of Parliament.
(3) Education provided by public authorities is regulated by Act of Parliament, paying due respect to everyone's religion or belief.
(4) The authorities ensure that primary education is provided in a sufficient number of public-authority schools in every municipality.  Deviations from this provision may be permitted under rules to be established by Act of Parliament on condition that there is opportunity to receive the said form of education.
(5) The standards required of schools financed either in part or in full from public funds are regulated by Act of Parliament, with due regard, in the case of private schools, to the freedom to provide education according to religious or other belief.
(6) The requirements for primary education are such that the standards both of private schools fully financed from public funds and of public-authority schools are fully guaranteed.  The relevant provisions must respect in particular the freedom of private schools to choose their teaching aids and to appoint teachers as they see fit.
(7) Private primary schools that satisfy the conditions laid down by Act of Parliament are financed from public funds according to the same standards as public-authority schools.  The conditions under which private secondary education and pre-university education receive contributions from public funds are laid down by Act of Parliament.
(8) The Government submits annual reports on the state of education to the Parliament.
 

Chapter 2  Government

 

Section 1  The King

 
Article 24 [Transition of Royal Dignity]
The title to the Throne is hereditary and vests in the legitimate descendants of King William I, Prince of Orange-Nassau.
 
Article 25 [Succession]
On the death of the King, the title to the Throne is passed by hereditary succession to the King's legitimate descendants in order of seniority, the same rule governing succession by the issue of descendants who predecease the King.  If the King has no descendants, the title to the Throne is passed in the same way to the legitimate descendants of the King's parent and then of his grandparent who are in the line of succession but are not further removed from the deceased King than the third degree of consanguinity.
 
Article 26  [Status of an Unborn or Stillborn Child]
For the purposes of hereditary succession, the child of a woman pregnant at the moment of the death of the King is deemed already born.  If it is stillborn it is deemed to have never existed.
 
Article 27 [Abdication]
Hereditary succession to the Throne in the event of abdication takes place according to the rules set out in the above articles. Children born after an abdication and their descendants are excluded from the hereditary succession.
 
Article 28  [Marriage without Approval by Act of Parliament]
(1) The King is deemed to have abdicated if he contracts a marriage without having obtained approval by Act of Parliament.
(2) Anyone in line of succession to the Throne who contracts such a marriage is excluded from the hereditary succession, together with any children born of the marriage and their issue.
(3) The two Chambers of the Parliament (Parliament) meet to consider and decide upon a Bill for granting such approval in joint session.
 
Article 29 [Exclusion from Hereditary Succession]
(1) One or more persons may be excluded from the hereditary succession by Act of Parliament if exceptional circumstances necessitate.
(2) The Bill for this purpose is presented by or on behalf of the King.  The two Chambers of the Parliament consider and decide upon the matter in joint session.  Such a Bill is passed only if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favour.
 
Article 30 [Appointment of a Successor]
(1) A successor to the Throne may be appointed by Act of Parliament if it appears that there will otherwise be no successor.  The Bill is presented by or on behalf of the King, upon which the Chambers are dissolved.  The newly convened Chambers discuss and decide upon the matter in joint session.  Such a Bill is passed only if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favour.
(2) The Chambers are dissolved if there is no successor on the death or abdication of the King.  The newly convened Chambers meet in joint session within four months of the decease or abdication in order to decide on the appointment of a King.  They may appoint a successor only if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favour.
 
Article 31 [Successor of an Appointed King]
(1) An appointed King may be succeeded only by his legitimate descendants by virtue of hereditary succession.
(2) The provisions on hereditary succession and the first paragraph of this article apply by analogy to an appointed successor who has not yet become King.
 
Article 32 [Oath]
Upon assuming the royal prerogative the King is sworn in and inaugurated as soon as possible in the capital city, Amsterdam, at a public and joint session of the two Chambers of the Parliament.  The King swears or promises allegiance to the Constitution and that he will faithfully discharge his duties. Specific rules are laid down by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 33 [Exercise of the Royal Prerogative]
The King may not exercise the royal prerogative before attaining the age of eighteen.
 
Article 34 [Guardianship over the Minor King]
Parental responsibility for and guardianship of a King who is a minor, and the supervision thereof, are regulated by Act of Parliament.  The two Chambers of the Parliament meet in joint session to consider and decide upon the matter.
 
Article 35 [Inability to Exercise the Royal Prerogative]
(1) If the Council of Ministers is of the opinion that the King is unable to exercise the royal prerogative it informs the two Chambers of the Parliament accordingly and also presents to them the recommendation it has requested from the Council of State.  The two Chambers of the Parliament then meet in joint session.
(2) If the two Chambers of the Parliament share this opinion, they then resolve that the King is unable to exercise the royal prerogative.  This resolution is made public on the instructions of the President of the joint session and enters into force immediately.
(3) As soon as the King regains the ability to exercise the royal prerogative, notice of the fact is given in an Act of Parliament.  The two Chambers of the Parliament consider and decide upon the matter in joint session.  The King resumes the exercise of the royal prerogative as soon as the Act has been made public.
(4) If it has been resolved that the King is unable to exercise the royal prerogative, guardianship over his person is, if necessary, regulated by Act of Parliament.  The two Chambers of the Parliament consider and decide upon the matter in joint session.
 
Article 36 [Temporary Inability to Exercise the Royal Prerogative]
The King may temporarily relinquish the exercise of the royal prerogative and resume the exercise thereof pursuant to Act of Parliament.  The relevant Bill is presented by or on behalf of the King.  The two Chambers of the Parliament consider and decide upon the matter in joint session.
 
Article 37 [Exercise of the Royal Prerogative]
(1) The royal prerogative is exercised by a Regent:
(a) until the King has attained the age of eighteen;
(b) if the title to the Throne may vest in an unborn child;
(c) if it has been resolved that the King is unable to exercise the royal prerogative;
(d) if the King has temporarily relinquished the exercise of the royal prerogative;
(e) in the absence of a successor following the death or abdication of the King.
(2) The Regent is appointed by Act of Parliament.  The two Chambers of the Parliament consider and decide upon the matter in joint session.
(3) In the cases specified in Paragraph (1)(c) and (d) above, the descendant of the King who is the heir presumptive becomes Regent by right if he has attained the age of eighteen.
(4) The Regent swears or promises allegiance to the Constitution and that he will faithfully discharge his duties before the two Chambers of Parliament meeting in joint session.  Rules regarding the office of Regent are made by Act of Parliament, which may contain provisions for succession and replacement.  The two Chambers of the Parliament consider and decide upon the matter in joint session.
(5) Articles 35 and 36 apply by analogy to the Regent.
 
Article 38 [Exercise of the Royal Prerogative by the Council of State]
The royal prerogative is exercised by the Council of State until such time as alternative provision is made for the exercise of such power.
 
Article 39 [Membership of the Royal House]
Membership of the Royal House is regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 40 [Remuneration]
(1) The King receives annual payments from the State according to rules to be laid down by Act of Parliament.  The Act also specifies which other members of the Royal House receives payments from the State and regulates the payments themselves.
(2) The payments received by them from the State, together with such assets as are of assistance to them in the exercise of their duties, are exempt from personal taxation.  In addition, anything received by the King or his heir presumptive from a member of the Royal House by inheritance or as a gift is exempt from inheritance tax, transfer tax, or gifts tax. Additional exemption from taxation may be granted by Act of Parliament.
(3) Bills containing legislation as referred to in the previous paragraphs may be passed by the Parliament only if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favour.
 
Article 41 [Organization of the Royal Household]
The King organizes his Household, taking due account of the public interest.
 

Section 2  The King and the Ministers

 
Article 42 [Composition of the Government, Responsibility]
(1) The Government comprises the King and the Ministers.
(2) The Ministers, and not the King, are responsible for acts of government.
 
Article 43 [Appointment of Ministers]
The Prime Minister and the other Ministers are appointed and dismissed by Royal Decree.
 
Article 44 [Establishment of Ministries]
(1) Ministries are established by Royal Decree. They are headed by a Minister.
(2) Non-departmental Ministers may also be appointed.
 
Article 45 [Council of Ministers]
(1) The Ministers together constitute the Council of Ministers.
(2) The Prime Minister is the chairman of the Council of Ministers.
(3) The Council of Ministers consider and decide upon overall government policy and promote the coherence thereof.
 
Article 46 [State Secretaries]
(1) State Secretaries may be appointed and dismissed by Royal Decree.
(2) A State Secretary acts with ministerial authority in place of the Minister in cases in which the Minister considers it necessary; the State Secretary observes the Minister's instructions in such cases.  Responsibility rests with the State Secretary without prejudice to the responsibility of the Minister.
 
Article 47 [Signature]
All Acts of Parliament and Royal Decrees are signed by the King and by one or more Ministers or State Secretaries.
 
Article 48 [Countersignature]
The Royal Decree appointing the Prime Minister is countersigned by the latter.  Royal Decrees appointing or dismissing Ministers and State Secretaries are countersigned by the Prime Minister.
 
Article 49 [Oath]
Upon accepting office Ministers and State Secretaries swear an oath or make an affirmation and promise in the presence of the King, in the manner prescribed by Act of Parliament, that they have not done anything which may legally debar them from holding office, and also swear or promise allegiance to the Constitution and that they will faithfully discharge their duties.
 

Chapter 3  Parliament

 

Section 1  Organization and Composition

 
Article 50 [Parliament]
The Parliament represents the entire people of the Netherlands.
 
Article 51 [Composition of Parliament]
(1) The Parliament consists of a Second Chamber and a First Chamber.
(2) The Second Chamber consists of one hundred and fifty members.
(3) The First Chamber consists of seventy-five members.
(4) The two Chambers are deemed a single entity when they meet in joint session.
 
Article 52 [Term of Office]
(1) The duration of both Chambers is four years.
(2) The duration of the First Chamber is amended accordingly if the duration of the provincial councils is altered by Act of Parliament to a term other than four years.
 
Article 53 [Election]
(1) The members of both Chambers are elected by proportional representation within the limits to be laid down by Act of Parliament.
(2) Elections are by secret ballot.
 
Article 54 [Election of the Second Chamber]
(1) The members of the Second Chamber are elected directly by the Dutch nationals who have attained the age of eighteen, with the exception of any Dutch nationals who may be excluded by Act of Parliament by virtue of the fact that they are not resident in the Netherlands.
(2) Anyone who has committed an offense designated by Act of Parliament and has been sentenced as a result by a final and conclusive judgment of a court of law to a custodial sentence of not less than one year and simultaneously disqualified from voting is not entitled to vote.
 
Article 55 [Election of the First Chamber]
The members of the First Chamber are chosen by the members of the provincial councils.  The election takes place not more than three months after the election of the members of the provincial councils except in the event of the dissolution of the Chamber.
 
Article 56 [Eligibility]
To be eligible for membership of the Parliament, a person must be a Dutch national, must have attained the age of eighteen years and must not have been disqualified from voting.
 
Article 57 [Incompatibilities]
(1) No one may be a member of both Chambers.
(2) A member of the Parliament may not be a Minister, State Secretary, member of the Council of State, member of the General Chamber of Audit, National Ombudsman or Deputy Ombudsman, member of the Supreme Court, or Procurator General or Advocate General at the Supreme Court.
(3) Notwithstanding the above, a Minister or State Secretary who has offered to tender his resignation may combine the said office with membership of the Parliament until such time as a decision is taken on such resignation.
(4) Other public functions which may not be held simultaneously by a person who is a member of the Parliament or of one of the Chambers may be designated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 57a [Replacement during Pregnancy and Maternity Leave]
The temporary replacement of a member of the Parliament during pregnancy and maternity leave or during illness is regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 58 [Credentials]
Each Chamber examines the credentials of its newly appointed members and decides with due reference to rules to be established by Act of Parliament any disputes arising in connection with the credentials or the election.
 
Article 59 [Right to Vote and Elections]
All other matters pertaining to the right to vote and to elections are regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 60 [Oath]
Upon accepting office, members of the Chambers swear an oath or make an affirmation and promise before the Chamber in the manner prescribed by Act of Parliament that they have not done anything which may legally debar them from holding office, and also swear or promise allegiance to the Constitution and that they will faithfully discharge their duties.
 
Article 61 [Self-Organization]
(1) Each Chamber appoints a President from among its members.
(2) Each Chamber appoints a Clerk who, like the other officials of the two Chambers, may not be a member of the Parliament.
 
Article 62 [President]
The President of the First Chamber presides when the two Chambers meet in joint session.
 
Article 63 [Remuneration]
Financial remuneration for members and former members of the Parliament and their dependents is regulated by Act of Parliament.  The Chambers may pass a Bill on the matter only if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favour.
 
Article 64 [Dissolution]
(1) Each of the Chambers may be dissolved by Royal Decree.
(2) A decree for dissolution also requires new elections to be held for the Chamber which has been dissolved and the newly elected Chamber to meet within three months.
(3) The dissolution takes effect on the day on which the newly elected Chamber meets.
(4) The duration of a Second Chamber that meets following a dissolution is determined by Act of Parliament; the term may not exceed five years.  The duration of a First Chamber that meets following a dissolution ends at the time at which the duration of the dissolved Chamber would have ended.
 

Section 2  Procedure

 
Article 65 [Statement of the Policy]
A statement of the policy to be pursued by the Government is given by or on behalf of the King before a joint session of the two Chambers of the Parliament that is held every year on the third Tuesday in September or on such earlier date as may be prescribed by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 66 [Public Sittings]
(1) The sittings of the Parliament are held in public.
(2) The sittings are held in camera if one tenth of the members present so require or if the President considers it necessary.
(3) The Chamber, or the two Chambers meeting in joint session, then decide whether the deliberations are to continue and the decisions to be taken in camera.
 
Article 67 [Deliberation and Taking Decisions]
(1) The two Chambers may deliberate or take decisions, either separately or in joint session, only if more than half of the members are present.
(2) Decisions are taken by majority.
(3) The members are not bound by a mandate or instructions when casting their votes.
(4) Voting on items of business not relating to individuals are oral and by roll call if requested by one member.
 
Article 68 [Provision of Information]
Ministers and State Secretaries provide orally or in writing the Chambers either separately or in joint session, with any information requested by one or more members, provided that the provision of such information does not conflict with the interests of the State.
 
Article 69 [Sittings]
(1) Ministers and State Secretaries have the right to attend sittings of the Parliament and may take part in the deliberations.
(2) They may be invited to be present at sittings of the Chambers of the Parliament meeting either separately or in joint session.
(3) They may be assisted at the sittings by persons nominated by them.
 
Article 70 [Right of Inquiry]
The two Chambers jointly and separately have the right of inquiry to be regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 71 [Immunity]
Members of the Parliament, Ministers, State Secretaries, and other persons taking part in deliberations may not be prosecuted or otherwise held liable in law for anything they say during the sittings of the Parliament or of its committees or for anything they submit to them in writing.
 
Article 72 [Rules of Procedure]
Each Chamber of the Parliament and the two Chambers in joint session draw up rules of procedure.
 

Chapter 4  Council of State, Chamber of Audit, National Ombudsman and Permanent Advisory Bodies

 
Article 73 [Consultation]
(1) The Council of State or a section of the Council is consulted on Bills and draft general administrative orders as well as proposals for the approval of treaties by the Parliament.  Such consultation may be dispensed with in cases to be laid down by Act of Parliament.
(2) The Council or a section of the Council is responsible for investigating administrative disputes where the decision has to be given by Royal Decree, and for advising on the ruling to be given in the said dispute.
(3) The Council or a section of the Council may be required by Act of Parliament to give decisions in administrative disputes.
 
Article 74 [President of the Council of State, Membership]
(1) The King is President of the Council of State.  The heir presumptive is legally entitled to have a seat on the Council on attaining the age of eighteen.  Other members of the Royal House may be granted a seat on the Council by or in accordance with an Act of Parliament.
(2) The members of the Council are appointed for life by Royal Decree.
(3) They cease to be members of the Council on resignation or on attaining an age to be determined by Act of Parliament.
(4) They may be suspended or dismissed from membership by the Council in instances specified by Act of Parliament.
(5) Their legal status is in other respects regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 75 [Organization, Composition and Powers]
(1) The organization, composition and powers of the Council of State are regulated by Act of Parliament.
(2) Additional duties may be assigned to the Council or a section of the Council by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 76 [Responsibility]
The General Chamber of Audit is responsible for examining the State's revenues and expenditures.
 
Article 77 [Membership]
(1) The members of the General Chamber of Audit are appointed for life by Royal Decree from a list of three persons per vacancy drawn up by the Second Chamber of the Parliament.
(2) They cease to be members on resignation or on attaining an age to be determined by Act of Parliament.
(3) They may be suspended or dismissed from membership by the Supreme Court in cases to be laid down by Act of Parliament.
(4) Their legal status is in other respects regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 78 [Organization, Composition and Powers]
(1) The organization, composition and powers of the General Chamber of Audit are regulated by Act of Parliament.
(2) Additional duties may be assigned to the General Chamber of Audit by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 78a [Ombudsman]
(1) The National Ombudsman investigates, on request or of his own accord, actions taken by administrative authorities of the State and other administrative authorities designated by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
(2) The National Ombudsman and a Deputy Ombudsman are appointed by the Second Chamber of the Parliament for a period to be determined by Act of Parliament. They may resign or retire on attaining an age to be determined by Act of Parliament. They may be suspended or dismissed by the Second Chamber of the Parliament in instances specified by Act of Parliament. Their legal status is in other respects regulated by Act of Parliament.
(3) The powers and methods of the National Ombudsman are regulated by Act of Parliament.
(4) Additional duties may be assigned to the National Ombudsman by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
 
Article 79 [Advisory Bodies]
(1) Permanent bodies to advise on matters relating to legislation and administration of the State are established by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
(2) The organization, composition and powers of such bodies are regulated by Act of Parliament.
(3) Duties in addition to advisory ones may be assigned to such bodies by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
 
Article 80 [Publication of the Recommendations]
(1) The recommendations made by the bodies referred to in the present chapter are made public according to rules to be laid down by Act of Parliament.
(2) Other than in cases to be laid down by Act of Parliament, recommendations made in respect of Bills presented by or on behalf of the King are submitted to the Parliament.
 

Chapter 5  Legislation and Administration

 

Section 1  Acts of Parliament and Other Regulations

 
Article 81 [Acts of Parliament]
Acts of Parliament are passed jointly by the Government and the Parliament.
 
Article 82 [Presentation of Bills]
(1) Bills may be presented by or on behalf of the King or by the Second Chamber of the Parliament.
(2) Bills which require consideration by a joint session of the Parliament may be presented by or on behalf of the King or by a joint session of the Parliament insofar as this is consistent with the relevant articles of Chapter 2.
(3) Bills to be presented by the Second Chamber or by a joint session of the Parliament are introduced in the Chamber or the joint session as the case may be by one or more members.
 
Article 83 [Bills of the King]
Bills presented by or on behalf of the King are sent to the Second Chamber or to the joint session if consideration by a joint session of the Parliament is required.
 
Article 84 [Amendment of a Bill]
(1) A Bill presented by or on behalf of the King that has not yet been passed by the Second Chamber or by a joint session of the Parliament may be amended by the Chamber or the joint session as the case may be on the proposal of one or more members or by the Government.
(2) Any Bill being presented by the Second Chamber or a joint session of the Parliament that has not yet been passed may be amended by the Chamber or joint session as the case may be on the proposal of one or more members or by the member or members introducing the Bill.
 
Article 85 [Consideration by the First Chamber]
As soon as the Second Chamber passes a Bill or resolves to present a Bill, it sends it to the First Chamber which considers the Bill as sent to it by the Second Chamber.  The Second Chamber may instruct one or more of its members to defend a Bill presented by it in the First Chamber.
 
Article 86 [Withdrawal]
(1) A Bill may be withdrawn by or on behalf of the proposer until such time as it is passed by the Parliament.
(2) A Bill which is to be presented by the Second Chamber or by a joint session of the Parliament may be withdrawn by the member or members introducing it until such time as it is passed.
 
Article 87 [Passage and Ratification]
(1) A Bill becomes an Act of Parliament once it has been passed by the Parliament and ratified by the King.
(2) The King and the Parliament inform each other of their decision on any Bill.
 
Article 88 [Publication and Entry into Force]
The publication and entry into force of Acts of Parliament are regulated by Act of Parliament.  They may not enter into force before they have been published.
 
Article 89 [General Administrative Orders]
(1) General administrative orders are established by Royal Decree.
(2) Any regulations to which penalties are attached are embodied in such orders only in accordance with an Act of Parliament.  The penalties to be imposed are determined by Act of Parliament.
(3) Publication and entry into force of general administrative orders are regulated by Act of Parliament.  They may not enter into force before they have been published.
(4) Paragraphs (2) and (3) apply by analogy to other generally binding regulations established by the State.
 

Section 2  Miscellaneous Provisions

 
Article 90 [International Rule of Law]
The Government promotes the development of the international rule of law.
 
Article 91 [Treaties]
(1) The Kingdom is not bound by treaties, nor are such treaties denounced without the prior approval of the Parliament.  The cases in which approval is not required are specified by Act of Parliament.
(2) The manner in which approval is granted is laid down by Act of Parliament, which may provide for the possibility of tacit approval.
(3) Any provisions of a treaty that conflict with the Constitution or which lead to conflicts with it may be approved by the Chambers of the Parliament only if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favour.
 
Article 92 [Transfer of State Power to International Institutions]
Legislative, executive, and judicial powers may be conferred on international institutions by or pursuant to a treaty, subject, where necessary, to the provisions of Article 91 (3).
 
Article 93 [Binding after Publication]
Provisions of treaties and of resolutions by international institutions, which may be binding on all persons by virtue of their contents become binding after they have been published.
 
Article 94 [Conflicts]
Statutory regulations in force within the Kingdom are not applicable if such application is in conflict with provisions of treaties or of resolutions by international institutions that are binding on all persons.
 
Article 95 [Publication]
Rules regarding the publication of treaties and decisions by international institutions are laid down by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 96 [Declaration of War]
(1) A declaration that the Kingdom is in a state of war is not made without the prior approval of the Parliament.
(2) Such approval is not required in cases where consultation with Parliament proves to be impossible as a consequence of the actual existence of a state of war.
(3) The two Chambers of the Parliament consider and decide upon the matter in joint session.
(4) The provisions of the first and third paragraphs apply by analogy to a declaration that a state of war has ceased.
 
Article 97 [Armed Forces]
(1) There are armed forces for the defence and protection of the interests of the Kingdom, and in order to maintain and promote the international legal order.
(2) The Government has supreme authority over the armed forces.
 
Article 98 [Composition of the Armed Forces]
(1) The armed forces consist of volunteers and may also include conscripts.
(2) Compulsory military service and the power to defer the call-up to active service are regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 99 [Exemption from Military Service]
Exemption from military service because of serious conscientious objections is regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 99a [Civil Defence]
Duties may be assigned for the purpose of civil defence in accordance with rules laid by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 100 [Information about the Armed Forces]
(1) The Government informs the Parliament in advance if the armed forces are to be deployed or made available to maintain or promote the international legal order. This includes the provision of humanitarian aid in the event of armed conflict.
(2) The provisions of paragraph 1 may not apply if compelling reasons exist to prevent the provision of information in advance. In this event, information is supplied as soon as possible.
 
Article 101
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 10 July 1995, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 401. }
 
Article 102
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 22 June 2000, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 294. }
 
Article 103 [State of Emergency]
(1) The cases in which a state of emergency, as defined by Act of Parliament, may be declared by Royal Decree in order to maintain internal or external security are specified by Act of Parliament.  The consequences of such a declaration are governed by Act of Parliament.
(2) Such a declaration may depart from the provisions of the Constitution relating to the powers of the executive bodies of the provinces, municipalities, and water control boards, the basic rights laid down in Article 6, insofar as the exercise of the right contained in this article other than in buildings and enclosed places is concerned, Articles 7, 8, 9, 12 (2), 13 and 113 (1) and (3).
(3) Immediately after the declaration of a state of emergency and whenever it considers it necessary, until such time as the state of emergency is terminated by Royal Decree, the Parliament decides the duration of the state of emergency.  The two Chambers of the Parliament consider and decide upon the matter in joint session.
 
Article 104 [Taxes and Levies]
Taxes imposed by the State are levied pursuant to Act of Parliament. Other levies imposed by the State are regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 105 [State Revenues and Expenditures]
(1) The estimates of the State's revenues and expenditures are laid down by Act of Parliament.
(2) Bills containing general estimates are presented by or on behalf of the King every year on the date specified in Article 65.
(3) A statement of the State's revenues and expenditures is presented to the Parliament in accordance with the provisions of the relevant Act of Parliament.  The balance sheet approved by the General Chamber of Audit is presented to the Parliament.
(4) Rules relating to the management of the State's finances are prescribed by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 106 [Monetary System]
The monetary system is regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 107 [Regulation of Law]
(1) Civil law, criminal law and civil and criminal procedure are regulated by Act of Parliament in general legal codes without prejudice to the power to regulate certain matters in separate Acts of Parliament.
(2) The general rules of administrative law are laid down by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 108
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 25 Feb 1999, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 133. }
 
Article 109 [Public Servants]
The legal status of public servants is regulated by Act of Parliament. Rules regarding employment protection and co-determination for public servants are also laid down by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 110 [Public Access]
In the exercise of their duties government bodies observe the right of public access to information in accordance with rules to be prescribed by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 111 [Honours]
Honours are established by Act of Parliament.
 

Chapter 6  The Administration of Justice

 
Article 112 [Judgment of Disputes]
(1) The judgement of disputes involving rights under civil law and debts is the responsibility of the judiciary.
(2) Responsibility for the judgement of disputes which do not arise from matters of civil law may be granted by Act of Parliament either to the judiciary or to courts that do not form part of the judiciary.  The method of dealing with such cases and the consequences of decisions is regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 113 [Judgment of Offenses]
(1) The judgement of offenses is also the responsibility of the judiciary.
(2) Disciplinary proceedings established by government bodies are regulated by Act of Parliament.
(3) A sentence entailing deprivation of liberty may be imposed only by the judiciary.
(4) Different rules may be established by Act of Parliament for the trial of cases outside the Netherlands and for martial law.
 
Article 114 [Capital Punishment]
Capital punishment may not be imposed.
 
Article 115 [Appeal to a Higher Administrative Authority]
Appeal to a higher administrative authority is admissible in the case of the disputes referred to in Article 112 (2).
 
Article 116 [Organization, Composition, Powers]
(1) The courts which form part of the judiciary are specified by Act of Parliament.
(2) The organization, composition and powers of the judiciary are regulated by Act of Parliament.
(3) ln cases provided for by Act of Parliament, persons who are not members of the judiciary may take part with members of the judiciary in the administration of justice.
(4) The supervision of members of the judiciary responsible for the administration of justice of the manner in which such members and the persons referred to in the previous paragraph fulfil their duties is regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 117 [Members of the Judiciary]
(1) Members of the judiciary responsible for the administration of justice and the Procurator General at the Supreme Court are appointed for life by Royal Decree.
(2) Such persons cease to hold office on resignation or on attaining an age to be determined by Act of Parliament.
(3) In cases laid down by Act of Parliament such persons may be suspended or dismissed by a court that is part of the judiciary and designated by Act of Parliament.
(4) Their legal status is in other respects regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 118 [Members of the Supreme Court]
(1) The members of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands are appointed from a list of three persons drawn up by the Second Chamber of the Parliament.
(2) In the cases and within the limits laid down by Act of Parliament, the Supreme Court is responsible for annulling court judgements which infringe the law (cassation).
(3) Additional duties may be assigned to the Supreme Court by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 119 [Offences Committed while in Office]
Present and former members of the Parliament, Ministers, and State Secretaries are tried by the Supreme Court for offenses committed while in office.  Proceedings are instituted by Royal Decree or by a resolution of the Second Chamber.
 
Article 120 [Constitutionality]
The constitutionality of Acts of Parliament and treaties are not reviewed by the courts.
 
Article 121 [Public Trials and Judgments]
Except in cases laid down by Act of Parliament, trials are held in public and judgements specify the grounds on which they are based. Judgements are pronounced in public.
 
Article 122 [Remission and Pardon]
(1) Remission of sentence is granted by Royal Decree upon the recommendation of a court designated by Act of Parliament and with due regard to regulations to be laid down by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
(2) Pardons are granted by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
 

Chapter 7  Provinces, Municipalities, Water Boards and Other Public Bodies

 
Article 123 [Provinces and Municipalities]
(1) Provinces and municipalities may be dissolved and new ones established by Act of Parliament.
(2) Revisions to provincial and municipal boundaries are regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 124 [Regulation and Administration]
(1) The powers of provinces and municipalities to regulate and administer their own internal affairs are delegated to their administrative organs.
(2) Provincial and municipal administrative organs may be required by or pursuant to Act of Parliament to provide regulation and administration.
 
Article 125 [Administration of Provinces and Municipalities]
(1) The provinces and municipalities are headed by provincial and municipal councils respectively.  Their meetings are public except in cases provided for by Act of Parliament.
(2) ln addition, the administration of a province consists of the provincial executive and the King's Commissioner; the administration of a municipality consists of the municipal executive and the Mayor.
 
Article 126 [Execution of Official Instructions]
The King's Commissioner may also be charged by Act of Parliament with the execution of official instructions to be given by the Government.
 
Article 127  [Provincial and Municipal By-Laws]
Provincial and municipal by-laws are enacted by the provincial or municipal councils respectively, except in cases specified by Act of Parliament or by them pursuant to an Act of Parliament.
 
Article 128  [Assignment of Powers]
Except in cases laid down in Article 123, the powers referred to in Article 124 (1) may be assigned to bodies other than those specified in Article 125 only by the provincial or municipal councils respectively.
 
Article 129  [Members of Provincial and Municipal Councils]
(1) The members of provincial and municipal councils are directly elected by Dutch nationals resident in the province or municipality as the case may be who satisfy the requirements laid down for elections to the Second Chamber of the Parliament.  The same conditions apply to membership.
(2) The members are elected by proportional representation within the boundaries to be laid down by Act of Parliament.
(3) Articles 53 (2) and 59 apply.  Article 57a  applies by analogy.
(4) The duration of provincial and municipal councils is four years unless otherwise provided for by Act of Parliament.
(5) The positions which may not be held simultaneously with membership are specified by Act of Parliament.  The Act may also provide that obstacles to membership will arise from family ties or marriage and that the commission of certain acts designated by Act of Parliament may result in loss of membership.
(6) The members are not bound by a mandate or instructions when casting their votes.
 
Article 130  [Members of Municipal Council]
The right to elect members of a municipal council and the right to be a member of a municipal council may be granted by Act of Parliament to residents who are not Dutch nationals provided they fulfil at least the requirements applicable to residents who are Dutch nationals.
 
Article 131  [King's Commissioners and Mayors]
The King's Commissioners and the Mayors are appointed by Royal Decree.
 
Article 132  [Organization of Provinces and Municipalities]
(1) Both the organization of provinces and municipalities and the composition and powers of their administrative organs are regulated by Act of Parliament.
(2) Supervision of the administrative organs is regulated by Act of Parliament.
(3) Decisions by the administrative organs are subject to prior supervision only in cases specified by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
(4) Decisions by the administrative organs may be quashed only by Royal Decree and on the ground that they conflict with the law or the public interest.
(5) Provisions in the event of non-compliance in matters of regulation and administration required under Article 124 (2), are regulated by Act of Parliament.  Provisions may be made by Act of Parliament notwithstanding Articles 125 and 127 in cases of gross neglect of duty by the administrative organs of a province or municipality.
(6) The taxes which may be levied by the administrative organs of provinces and municipalities and their financial relationships with the central government are regulated by Act of Parliament.
 
Article 133  [Water Control Boards]
(1) Insofar as it is not otherwise provided by or pursuant to Act of Parliament, the establishment or dissolution of water control boards, the regulation of their duties and organization together with the composition of their administrative organs are effected by provincial by-law according to rules laid down by Act of Parliament.
(2) The legislative and other powers of the administrative organs of water control boards and public access to their meetings are regulated by Act of Parliament
(3) Supervision of these administrative organs by provincial and other bodies is regulated by Act of Parliament. Decisions by the administrative organs may be quashed only if they conflict with the law or the public interest.
 
Article 134  [Public Bodies]
(1) Public bodies for the professions and trades and other public bodies may be established and dissolved by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
(2) The duties and organization of such bodies, the composition, and powers of their administrative organs and public access to their meetings are regulated by Act of Parliament.  Legislative powers may be granted to their administrative organs by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
(3) Supervision of the administrative organs is regulated by Act of Parliament.  Decisions by the administrative organs may be quashed only if they are in conflict with the law or the public interest.
 
Article 135  [Matters with Involvement of Several Public Bodies]
Rules pertaining to matters in which two or more public bodies are involved are laid down by Act of Parliament.  These may provide for the establishment of a new public body, in which case Article 134 (2) and (3), apply.
 
Article 136  [Disputes between Public Bodies]
Disputes between public bodies are settled by Royal Decree unless they fall within the competence of the judiciary or decisions are referred to other bodies by Act of Parliament.
 

Chapter 8  Revision of the Constitution

 
Article 137  [Constitutional Amendment]
(1) An Act of Parliament is passed stating that an amendment to the Constitution in the form proposed is considered.
(2) The Second Chamber may divide a Bill presented for this purpose into a number of separate Bills, either upon a proposal presented by or on behalf of the King or otherwise.
(3) The Second Chamber is dissolved after the Bill referred to in the first paragraph has been published.
(4) After the new Second Chamber has assembled, the two Houses of the Parliament consider, at second reading, the Bill referred to in the first paragraph. The Bill is passed only if at least two thirds of the votes cast are in favor.
(5) The Second Chamber may divide a Bill for the amendment of the Constitution into a number of separate Bills, either upon a proposal presented by or on behalf of the King or otherwise, if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favor.
 
Article 138  [Bills]
(1) Before Bills to amend the Constitution which have been given a second reading have been ratified by the King, provisions may be introduced by Act of Parliament whereby:
(a) the proposals adopted and the unamended provisions of the Constitution are adjusted to each other as required;
(b) the division into chapters, sections, and articles and the headings and numbering thereof are modified.
(2) A Bill containing provisions as referred to under Paragraph (1)(a) is passed by the two Chambers only if at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favor.
 
Article 139 [Entry into Force]
Amendments to the Constitution passed by the Parliament and ratified by the King enter into force immediately after they have been published.
 
Article 140 [Conflicts between Existing Law and an Amendment to the Constitution]
Existing Acts of Parliament and other regulations and decrees which are in conflict with an amendment to the Constitution remain in force until provisions are made in accordance with the Constitution.
 
Article 141 [Publication of the Revised Constitution]
The text of the revised Constitution is published by Royal Decree in which the chapters, sections and articles may be renumbered and references to them altered accordingly.
 
Article 142  [The Constitution and the Charter for the Kingdom of Netherlands]
The Constitution may be brought into line with the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands by Act of Parliament.  Articles 139, 140 and 141 apply by analogy.
 

[Chapter 9]  Additional Articles

 
Article I
Articles 57a and 129 (3), second sentence, enter into force only after four years or on such earlier date as may be prescribed by or pursuant to Act of Parliament.
 
Article II
The amendment to article 54 (2) enters into force only after five years or on such earlier date as may be prescribed by or pursuant to Act of Parliament. This period may be extended for up to five years by Act of Parliament.
 
Article III-VIII
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 10 July 1995, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 404. }
 
Article IX
Article 16 may not apply to offenses made punishable under the Wartime Offenses Decree.
 
Article X
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 10 July 1995, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 404. }
 
Article XI
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 6 Oct 1999, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 454. }
 
Article XII-XVI
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 10 July 1995, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 404. }
 
Article XVII
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 25 Feb 1999, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 135. }
 
Article XVIII
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 10 July 1995, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 404. }
 
Article XIX
The wording of the proclamation of Acts of Parliament as laid down in Article 81 of the 1972 version of the Constitution, the wording of messages accompanying bills sent from one Chamber to the other or to the King and of the King's message to the Parliament containing his decision on the Bill, as laid down in Articles 123, 124, 127, 128, and 130 of the 1972 version of the Constitution, remain in force until such time as other arrangements are made.
 
Article XX
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 10 July 1995, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 402. }
 
Article XXI
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 6 Oct 1999, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 454. }
 
Article XXII-XXIII
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 10 July 1995, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 404. }
 
Article XXIV-XXV
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 25 Feb 1999, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 135. }
 
Article XXVI-XXIX
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 10 July 1995, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 404. }
 
Article XXX
{ Lapsed in accordance with Kingdom Act of 6 Oct 1999, Bulletin of Acts and Decrees, 454. }
 

[Chapter 10]  Articles of the 1972 and 1983 text of the Constitution which are to remain in force for the time being

 
Article 54 [Exclusion from Voting]
(1) { not applicable }
(2) The following persons are not entitled to vote:
(a) anyone who has committed an offense designated by Act of Parliament and has been sentenced as a result by a final and conclusive judgment of a court of law to a custodial sentence of not less than one year and simultaneously disqualified from voting;
(b) anyone who has been deemed legally incompetent by a final and conclusive judgment of a court because of mental disorder.
 
Article 81 [Form of Promulgating Laws]
(1) The form of promulgating laws is as follows:
"We" etc. "King of the Netherlands," etc.
"Greetings to all those who shall see or hear these presents! be it known:"
"Whereas we have considered that" etc.
(The reasons of the law.)
"Thus it is that We, having heard the Council of State, and in consultation with the Parliament, have approved and decreed, as we hereby approve and decree" etc.
(The contents of the law.)
"Given", etc.
(2) In the event that a Queen reigns or royal authority is exercised by a regent or by the Council of State, the necessary modification is made in this form.
 
Article 130 [Approval and Disapproval of a Bill]
The King notifies the Parliament as soon as possible whether he approves or disapproves a Bill which has been passed by it. Such notification takes place by means of one of the following forms:
"The King assents to the Bill."
or:
"The King is considering the Bill."

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - April 3rd, 2016 / Thanks to A. Meister. / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.