Court of Appeal: traveller allowed to continue to reside in caravan

Early November 2017, the Court of Appeal in Den Bosch decided that the traveller, who is supported by the PILP, is allowed to continue to reside in his caravan. The municipality is legally required to recognise him as a tenant and cannot remove him or his caravan from the terrain.

Based on the so-called ‘extinction policy’, the traveller was required by the municipality of Oss to leave his caravan, in which he lived with his mother. When his mother suddenly passed away he was not allowed to continue to reside in his caravan because of this extinction policy.

According to the PILP, the extinction policy is in violation of human rights and case law of the European Court of Human Rights. The PILP wanted to have a judge verify the legality of this policy. Together with the travellers’ community it was decided that the case of this traveller, being a good and painful example of the extinction policy, should be taken on by the PILP.

However, the case was judicially complex. Fortunately, the lawyers of Kennedy van der Laan were willing to assist us in the context of their pro bono policy. Specialists in rent law and administrative law of this office cooperated with human rights specialists of the PILP. The procedure before the court of first instance was won, and now the appeal procedure has been won as well.

Unfortunately, the court in first instance and the court of appeal did not address the extinction policy in general, nor the relevant human rights in this case. However, we are still happy with the achieved result. For the traveller, because he is allowed to continue to reside in his caravan, and for the travellers’ community, because the PILP was able to show that a legal procedure can be a tool to protect their (human) rights.

We could not have taken on and won this case without the wonderful commitment of the lawyers of Kennedy van der Laan, our PILP and NJCM volunteers and of course the people of the travellers’ community.

Here more information can be found about the PILP’s activities relating to extinction policy.