Stek victorious in appeal against the Dutch State in freedom of information litigation

Stek has successfully represented a veterinary product company in an appeal against the Dutch State (the Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality represented by the Medicines Evaluation Board) in a freedom of information procedure before the Amsterdam District Court. The freedom of information request related to documents in the Dutch registration file regarding the market authorisation of a veterinary medicinal product that was subject of a European decentralised procedure.

Contrary to settled case law, including the landmark judgment of the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State of 13 April 2016 (ECLI:NL:RVS:2016:1000) in a similar case the Dutch State categorically refused to disclose any documentation, referring inter alia to unpublished internal policies and European case law.

Following a procedure to speed up to the decision-making process of the Dutch government and a negative decision on the objection against such categorical refusal, by judgement of 22 December 2020 the Amsterdam District Court upheld the appeal, annulled the decision on the objection and ordered the State to take a new decision and imposed an order subject to a penalty in the case of non-compliance.

Please click here for the judgment (in Dutch).

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