The Netherlands

On behalf of the team

On 29 November 2021, the District Court of The Hague rendered judgment in a claim of two anonymised associations/foundations and one individual claimant v. the State and individual officials.[1] In preliminary relief proceedings, they sought the revocation of the marketing authorisations of BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen (developers of COVID vaccines). In these preliminary relief proceedings, the claimants envisage the immediate suspension of the vaccination campaign. They asserted that the recommendations of the Health Council of the Netherlands, in the context of which the State is informed about vaccinations, are unlawful. All three claimants were declared to have no locus standi. In the case of the foundation and the association, this was based on the exception of Article 3:305a(6) DCC.

The District Court ruled on the merits that the claimants’ claims in these preliminary relief proceedings were not directed against specific (COVID) measures of/decisions by the State. That circumstance alone implied that the claimants in these proceedings had no legally relevant interest in an assessment of the merits of the recommendations by the Health Council of the Netherlands. In addition, the District Court held that it is not the State but the European Commission that had the authority to revoke the marketing authorisation in question. Finally, an assessment of the merits of the recommendations would go far beyond the scope of a preliminary relief proceedings. Consequently, the claimants’ claims were denied. This decision was upheld on appeal.

[1]District Court of The Hague 29 November 2021, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2021:12992