In the Netherlands, the virus upsets the liberal model

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“The judge finally gives us justice!” Tonitrue Willem Engels on his way out of court in The Hague, The Netherlands. Leader of the group protesting the government’s decisions on measures against the coronavirus, Viruswaarheid (Truth Virus), he displays a satisfied smile at the photographers stationed outside the building. He has much to be proud of: a judge of the Court of First Instance called for the immediate end of the curfew introduced in the Netherlands on January 23, to stem the pandemic. The Dutch state has allegedly abused the emergency powers available, believes the justice system. The government appealed the decision the same day.

This judgment follows the decision of the Netherlands to introduce a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m., a first since the end of World War II. Supposed to end on February 9, the measure was extended until March 2. The decision sparked an unprecedented wave of protest in the country.