photo: Norman Serphos

WILLEMSTAD – Again a European Dutchman has been selected as the Attorney General for the five islands Curaçao, St. Maarten and the BES (Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba). Will a local ever be considered suitable for this position?

“One considers the skills and abilities first, when selecting an Attorney General”, answers Attorney General Roger Bos, who took over six month prior from Guus Schram. “There were more candidates for this position, including Caribbeans, however we aren’t focused on whether the person is an Antillean, from Curaçao or a Dutchman”, Bos continues.

Still Bos insists, “I’m more independent than somebody that becomes Attorney General at the age of 55 and was able to establish relationships all his or her life”. “Those relationships in the neighborhood, at work and from school can be a hindrance if you need to arrest somebody who may have been very close to you”, he adds.

Training local forces
According to Bos, they are working on training local employees for higher positions. “A secretary-general is in the process of becoming a public prosecutor and we are assisting an officer in the trajectory for the position of deputy chief officer. People need opportunities and have to take advantage of them, but competencies also come into play”, he explains.

Region is too small
Why don’t you opt for separate Attorney Generals for Curaçao, St. Maarten and the BES islands? “I personally think that this region is too small for multiple Attorney Generals. That is simply not practical. You may get many chiefs that ultimately cannot get the job done. I have a chief officer here on Curaçao that I coordinate with and we also coordinate with the chief officers of Bonaire and St. Maarten”, Bos adds.

“The chief officer of Bonaire has been asked to create an action plan for prevention in the event of a hurricane such as Irma”, Bos gives as an example. “This plan has, among other things, described how we can digitize our work. Not only Curaçao, St. Maarten and the BES will now implement that plan, Aruba has also indicated that it will implement the plan”, he continues. “Soon all the files will be digital. You will not get things done if there are four separate Attorney Generals”, Bos concludes.

Aruba also included in the cooperation
“As a result of this cooperation, all public prosecutors, including Aruba and the courts, will now work together”, Bos explains. “Aruba has had its own Attorney General since 1986, when the island received a Status Aparte or special status within the Dutch Kingdom. Since 2016, this is Alexander van Dam“, Bos continues.

“In 2015, we just completed the evaluation of the functioning of one Attorney General for all the islands and after five years it will be evaluated again. Then the countries can decide together how they want it”, Bos concludes.