|The Right Honourable|
The Baroness van Houten of Enschede
OS PC RS
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Adrian Gallager|
1980 – 1992
|Preceded by||Hans Lekerman|
1976 – 1980
|Preceded by||Gerard Luid|
|Succeeded by||Rina Kaas|
1973 – 1976
|Born|| 3 December, 1941|
Lies Marjorie Maria Magdalena Heemstra-Van Houten, Baroness van Houten of Enschede, OS, PC, RS (Rt Hon.) (born 3 December, 1941) is a Dutch Saxonian legal academic, judge, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation as well as the Justice for Dutch Lower Saxony on the same Court.
In 1976 she became a Justice of the Supreme Court of Dutch Lower Saxony, taking over the place of Gerard Luid, who retired at the age of 89. Here she stayed until 1980, when she was appointed to represent the State of Dutch Lower Saxony on the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation. As she became a Justice of the Supreme Court, her title officially changed to Baroness of her place of residence, at that time Enschede. She thus became The Baroness van Houten of Enschede (Dutch: De Barones van Houten van Enschede, Dutch Low Saxon: De Baronesse van Houten van Eanske, Frisian: De Baronesse van Houten fan Ynskedee).
In 1943, her family fled to Dogger, where she lived until 1950, when she returned to Oldenzaal. In 1954 she started attending High School in Enschede, and in 1960 she attended Law School at the University of Groningen.
In 1960, Van Houten finished her education and became a legal advisor for the District Court of Twenthe in the National Judicial Circuit of Saxony. She held this role until 1973, when the then-current judge retired prematurely and she was appointed as his successor. She stayed as District Court until 1976, when she was appointed as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Dutch Lower Saxony. She held this office until 1980, when she was appointed as the Justice to represent the State of Dutch Lower Saxony on the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation following Hans Lekerman. This meant she was given several titles and styles.
In 1992 she was made Chief Justice of the Supreme Court after Adrian Gallager, the Justice for North, passed away. She thus was given a myriad of additional titles. As of 2014, she is still incumbent.
Due to the fairly liberal nature of the Confederation, few landmark rulings have passed her by as a judge. She has however ruled on several notable cases:
- Neerlaands-Neersassen teagn Organisasie teagn de Neerlaandse Monargie: in 1977; authored the unanimous opinion holding that the Dutch monarch's reign over Dutch Lower Saxony was constitutional.
- United States of America vs. Seafaring Confederation: in 1984; ruled that the execution of 6 U.S. spies by Rockall was constitutional.
- Seafaring Confederation vs. Christen für Traditionelle Ehe: in 2001; authored the majority opinion that provided judicial approval to the implementation of same-sex marriage in all parts of the Confederation.
- Ohlsdorf Gang Rapes victims vs. Ohlsdorf Gang Rapes offenders: in 2010; authored the unanimous opinion holding that in cases of rape, human trafficking for the purpose of sexually exploiting another individual, sexual abuse, creation of child pornography, premeditated murder and spying with malicious intent, it is constitutional to execute a minor.
- Official Opposition of the Legislature of South (Highlands) vs. Official Government of the Legislature of South (Highlands): in 2013; ruled that actions that were carried out in South in the Highlands and in An Móir Leautheinn in Rockall by the ruling governments of that State resp. Viscountcy were unconstitutional, effectively giving members of government found guilty life sentences.
Van Houten married her current spouse Evert Groenenhart in 1983, after having had two children with him. She has three grandchildren.
At age 18, she decided to keep her mother's maiden name, "Heemstra", thus making her official surname Heemstra-Van Houten by her own directive. She has chosen not to take her husband's surname.
Van Houten has an honorary doctorate at the Faculty of Law of the University of Groningen. She also often speaks at conferences and holds interviews, as well as appears in several forms of media. She has her own Twitter and Facebook accounts which she frequently uses.
Van Houten carries the following titles:
The Right Honourable Her Ladyship the Baroness of Enschede, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation, Justice for the State of Dutch Lower Saxony on the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation, Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of Dutch Lower Saxony prisca, Justice of the District of Twenthe prisca, by Grace of the Federation of the United States of Saxony, the Island Provinces of Dogger, and the Principality of Howry, by Acknowledgement of Supremacy of the United Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein and Jutland, by Acknowledgment of Academic Superiority of the Most Preferable Earldom of the Island of Rockall, by Acknowledgment of Superiority by the Islands of Faroe, the Islands of Rom, and the Highlands, Highest Justice of the States of Dutch Lower Saxony, German Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony-State, North, and South, the Duchies of Schleswig, Holstein, and Jutland, the Viscountcies of the Rockallic Federal District, An Uinnia, An Thir na tÁirdteachd, An Móir Leautheinn, Cóste Ígheainne, and Líchthiach Thiair, and the Cities of Hamburg and Bremen, Member of the Order of the Seas, Protector of the Confederation, Knight of Singraven, As Consort of Justice for the King of the Netherlands to the Supreme Court.
Her style of address in Court is My Lady or Your Ladyship, out of Court it is My Lady or Justice.