A brief history
In preparation for the transition towards becoming a country within the Kingdom, changes to legislation became necessary, both on Kingdom level, as well as on the level of future Country Sint Maarten. Anticipating, a number of legislative powers of the Country the Netherlands Antilles were already transferred to the Island Territory of Sint Maarten (P.B. 2009, no. 75; P.B. 2010, no.7 and 15).
On a Kingdom level, the Kingdom Act amending the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands was drafted (In Dutch: Rijkswet wijziging Statuut in verband met de opheffing van de Nederlandse Antillen, Stb.2010, 333). This Kingdom Act regulated the necessary changes to Kingdom legislation, as well gave the future Country Sint Maarten the opportunity to draft its Constitution and fundamental legislation before the new status within the Kingdom was to take effect. Obtained by Royal Decree, the Kingdom Act came into force with effect from October 10th 2010, dissolving the Netherlands Antilles and creating Country Sint Maarten within the Kingdom.
Making use of the opportunity given by the Kingdom Act and its new legislative powers, the former Island Territory of Sint Maarten adopted thirty national ordinances, prior to 10-10-10. These ordinances deal with governing the structure of new country Sint Maarten and went into force on the day of the transition.
Valid legislation for Sint Maarten as per 10-10-10
As previously mentioned, the legislation that was in force for Island Territory Sint Maarten – both the island legislation as the Antilles’ legislation – remained in effect for Sint Maarten. Additional Article I of the Constitution of Sint Maarten (Staatsregeling van Sint Maarten) provides that the legislation that was in force before the dissolution continues to apply in Sint Maarten until it has been amended or revoked. The National Ordinance containing transitional legal and administrative provisions(Landsverordening overgangsbepalingen van wetgeving en bestuur) confirms the continued applicability of the legislation, provided that the legislation that no longer applies in Sint Maarten is listed in the second annex to the ordinance.
Pursuant to Article 60b of the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which entered into force on September 16, 2010, the draft ordinances that have been enacted by the Island Council of Sint Maarten before the constitutional reform, gained the status of national ordinances as per October 10th, 2010. The National Ordinance containing transitional legal and administrative provisions is one of these ordinances.
As of 10-10-10 and under the National Ordinance containing transitional legal and administrative provisions, national ordinances, national decrees, containing general measures, and ministerial decisions with general effect, of the former Netherlands Antilles, have acquired the status of national ordinances, national decrees, containing general measures, and ministerial regulations of Sint Maarten. Island ordinances and island decrees, containing general measures, from the former Island Territory of Sint Maarten have acquired the status of national ordinances, respectively national decrees, containing general measures, of Sint Maarten.
Besides the legislation above, there are other legislative instruments which are also applicable to Sint Maarten:
- The Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
- Treaties and agreements with other states and with international organisations, insofar these are ratified for Sint Maarten;
- Kingdom Acts and Orders in Council for the Kingdom;
- Mutual arrangements as referred to in Article 38(1) of the Charter for the
- Kingdom, to the extent that these are granted legal force by a competent body of Sint Maarten;
- Mutual arrangements as referred to in Article 38(2) of the Charter for the Kingdom;
- Legislation, which has entered into effect for Sint Maarten since 10-10-10.
The Government of Sint Maarten has decided to make the text of all legislation, containing generally binding regulations, digitally available to the public. These texts are published on the official Government website.
DISCLAIMER: The electronic versions of all legislation on this website and any legislation printed from this website (a) have no official status and (b) are made available for information purposes only. These texts should not be relied on as the authoritative text. The official publication, as referred to in the ‘National ordinance on publication and entry into force’, remains the publication in the Official Publication (Afkondigingsblad) and the ‘National Gazette’ (Landscourant). While care is taken to ensure its accuracy and currency, legislation produced on this website is not the official authorised version.