24 August 1815

The modern Constitution of the Netherlands is signed.

The Constitution of the Netherlands, also known as the “Grondwet,” forms the fundamental legal framework for the country. Please note that there might have been changes or updates since then. The Constitution outlines the structure of government, the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and the relationship between the state and its citizens.

Key features of the modern Constitution of the Netherlands:

Preamble and Basic Principles: The preamble of the Dutch Constitution emphasizes the importance of individual freedom, equality, democracy, and the rule of law. It establishes the fundamental principles upon which the Dutch state is built.

Individual Rights: The Constitution enshrines a range of individual rights, such as freedom of expression, religion, and assembly, as well as rights related to privacy, education, and work. The Dutch Constitution places a strong emphasis on protecting these rights.

Monarchy: The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, and the Constitution outlines the roles and responsibilities of the monarch. The monarch’s powers are limited by the Constitution, and they primarily serve a ceremonial and representative role in the government.

Parliamentary System: The Dutch Constitution establishes a parliamentary system of government. The legislative branch consists of the States General (Staten-Generaal), which is divided into two chambers: the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) and the Senate (Eerste Kamer). The House of Representatives is composed of elected members, while the Senate consists of representatives indirectly elected by the members of the provincial legislatures.

Executive Power: The executive power is vested in the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is the head of government, responsible for leading the government’s policies and decisions.

Judicial System: The Dutch Constitution establishes an independent judicial system. The judiciary has the authority to review the constitutionality of laws and government actions. The highest judicial authority is the Supreme Court (Hoge Raad), which ensures the uniform interpretation of laws and the Constitution.

Local Government: The Constitution provides for a system of local government, allowing municipalities and provinces to have a certain degree of autonomy in managing their affairs within the framework of the national laws and Constitution.

Amendments: The Constitution can be amended through a specific procedure that involves approval by both chambers of the States General and, in most cases, a subsequent general election. This process ensures that constitutional changes are made with careful consideration and broad support.

International Treaties and Agreements: The Dutch Constitution recognizes the importance of international treaties and agreements. However, there is a principle that international treaties cannot conflict with the Constitution. In cases of conflict, the Constitution takes precedence.