Bonum Certa Men Certa

EPO Abuses Now Make the Netherlands Look Like a Facilitator of Human/Labour Rights Abuses

Not what Dutch people would wish to be associated with or known for...

Slobodan Milošević Reference: Milošević and the ICC



Summary: Rather than crack down on human rights abuses, the Dutch government now sends out the signal that it's an island for those wish to violate human rights whilst enjoying immunity (EPO)

UPLOADED by SUEPO early in the day yesterday was this presentation of Prof. Zegveld [PDF], who represents SUEPO and others who are witch-hunted at the EPO. They uploaded this having probably seen press coverage, some of it in English, some of translated into English (from Dutch), and most if it just in Dutch [1, 2, 3] (it's everywhere in the press and even television in the Netherlands).



Dutch News, a high-profile English-speaking site in the Netherlands, wrote:

The Dutch Supreme Court has ruled that the Dutch courts cannot intervene in problems at the European Patent Office in Rijswijk because the organisation enjoys immunity as an international organisation.

The patent office approves patents for all 38 countries which are members and has a workforce of 7,000 spread between the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Belgium.


Glyn Moody quoted from this that "the only option now open is to sue the Dutch state." The EPO is now being protected by the state. What an embarrassment both to Holland and the EPO.

The EPO is proud to be above the law (and actually BREAK Dutch laws), based on its new statement about it (warning: epo.org link). These villains don't actually speak about what they did, they just say: "The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has today issued a ruling in a legal case related to a dispute generated by one trade union present at the EPO, SUEPO, against the Office. We welcome this decision by which the Court considers the Dutch courts as not competent to deal with this case, in application of the principle of immunity which is essential for the independence and functioning of any international organisation."

There are serious, truly serious ramifications for ICC and other institutions on Dutch territories. The ICC, which can now itself commit crimes, won't even be punished or reprimanded by the government. What kind of signal of low credibility does that send out? It's like countries that bolster their economy by helping large multinational corporations flagrantly evade tax (Ireland or Luxembourg), or nations that let rich people hide their money from tax authorities (e.g. Switzerland for taxation). Do the Dutch want to be viewed as a safe haven for human rights violators? We previously heard a lot from sources inside the UN (specifically in Switzerland), from those who were close to suicide due to institutional abuse (in WIPO, which is connected to the UN, there have already been suicides due to that). The documents were in French, which is why we never covered/leaked that.

Accompanying the newly-released PDF, SUEPO posted the following message:



Presentation of Prof. Zegveld at the Council of Europe on 13 December 2016 on Jurisdictional Immunity Of International Organisations And Rights Of Their Staff

The use and abuse of immunity by international organisations is apparently a topic not limited to the EPO - although we may have the dubious honour of holding the worst record so far. On 13 December 2016, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe tackled the issue in agenda point 9. SUEPO's attorney, Prof. Zegveld, was one of the people invited to make a presentation. We hope that the debate will trigger a (re-)confirmation of the boundaries of immunity, and lead to a strengthening of the enforcement of staff rights.


What is at stake here right now isn't just the EPO but over 50 international bodies which are based in the Netherlands. The Netherlands wants to be viewed as a guardian of international law (e.g. with ICC), but right now it facilitates human rights abuses. This will certainly be debated by Dutch politicians in the coming days or weeks. Certain political parties in the county rightly deem it a disgrace.

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