A Dutch judge recently ruled that the Dutch military police, Marechaussee, can use ethnic profiling and that this is not by definition discrimination. The Council of Europe is not happy with the way the Netherlands normalises discrimination. Therefore, they wrote a letter to ministers Ollongren and Grapperhaus. René Repasi, Professor of Public and Private Interests at Erasmus School of Law, talked with the Volkskrant about the implications of this letter.
The judge who ruled about ethnic profiling considers the use by the Marechaussee of one’s ethnic appearance in judging one’s nationality or heritage to be fair. According to the judge, as long as ethnicity is not the only reason for extra investigations, it is not discrimination. The Council of Europe wants to fight all sorts of ethnic profiling, which is why they disagree with the Dutch Court.
“The recent ruling does not just show that ethnic profiling is taking place, but also shows how the judiciary system supports and justifies this”, says Momodou Malcolm Jallow, reporter of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. According to Repasi, this letter has no direct impact on the Netherlands: “These types of letters are mainly meant to raise public awareness for a case. It is the first step in a long procedure, possibly ending with an official report or resolution.”