Who is Boris Dittrich?
Boris Dittrich, born in Utrecht, the Netherlands
July 21st, 1955.
Male. Married to Jehoshua Rozenman, no children.
Lives in New York.
1968- 1971 Gymnasium at the St. Bonifatius College in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
1971- 1974 Gymnasium at the Herman Jordan Montessori College in Zeist, the Netherlands.
Amongst other subjects graduated in 6 languages : Greek, Latin, English, French, German and Dutch.
1974- 1975 Freshman year at Denison University, Granville Ohio, USA. Focus on criminology, psychology, art history and art (painting).
1975-1981 Law school at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Specialised in criminal law and civil law. Master of Law.
1981- 1984 Lawyer at the firm Stibbe, Blaisse & de Jong in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Specialised in labor law and real estate law.
1984-1989 Partner in the law firm Ingelse c.s in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Specialised in labor law, real estate law, marital disputes, criminal law and mediation, immigration law.
1989- 1994 Judge at the district court of Alkmaar, the Netherlands. Specialised in criminal law, psychiatric law, family law and immigration law.
1994 Nationally elected as member of parliament for the social liberal party D66 (Democrats, established in 1966).
1994- 2006 member of the standing committees on Justice, Foreign Affairs, Economical Affairs, Domestic Affairs, Education, Science and Culture and Antillian and Aruban Affairs.
2003 - 2006 elected as leader of the party.
In the period 1994-2005 Dittrich presented in Congress four private bills which were passed and are currently in effect.
- Anti stalking act
- Fixed book prices act
- Victim statement act in criminal court cases
- Annulment of term of limitations act regarding murder and manslaughter
Dittrich has been the only member of parliament since 1838 who has succeeded in presenting four private bills that have passed congress.
Dittrich was one of the first openly gay members of parliament. He sponsored the bill on the opening of civil marriage to same sex couples and the bill on Adoption by gay couples. Both laws came into effect in 2001. He was rewarded with the Gay Newspaper award in 2004. The elections for this prize are held every 5 years. The Dutch public choose him as the most influential Dutch gay man.
In the period 1994- 2003 Dittrich was the spokesman on various typical Dutch issues like euthanasia, LGBT-rights, legalisation of prostitution and condoning of soft drugs.
In 2003 Dittrich was elected as leader of D66. He negotiated with prime-minister Balkenende of the CDA (Christian Democratic party) and minister of Finance Zalm of the VVD (Liberal party) and constructed the government Balkenende II. CDA, VVD and D66 agreed to introduce major economic and social reforms during the Balkenende II administration which ended in July 2006.
From 2003- 2006 Dittrich was a member of the Intelligence Committee that discussed secret operations, led by the Dutch Intelligence Agency, AIVD. Usually the discussions were related to anti terrorist operations. All meetings are classified as strictly confidential.
As member of the Standing Committee on Antillean and Aruban Affairs Dittrich visited the Dutch Caribbean islands many times and proposed re-establishment of the Statute of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. As member of several Standing Committees Dittrich took part in field trips to countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Morocco, Suriname, Colombia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Ivory Coast. As vice-president of the Liberal International Dittrich addressed conferences in Taiwan, Bulgaria and Morocco.
As member of parliament Dittrich published numerous articles in newspapers and often he appeared on radio and television shows. He became one of the most cited members of parliament.
Dittrich is author of the book: "Een blauwe stoel in Paars" (a blue seat in purple), published in 2001 by Van Gennep publishers in Amsterdam. It contains 10 short stories about political life in Congress.
Three documentaries have been made about Dittrich:
- the making of "Een blauwe stoel in Paars" (a blue seat in purple), broadcasted on national television by EO in 2001
- Kibbutz children, return of Dittrich to his kibbutz Dovrat in Israel, broadcasted on national television by JO in 2005
- Dittrich, leader of the political party D66, broadcasted on national television by NOS in 2005 and 2006
Floorleader in Parliament.
From 2003 to February 2006 Dittrich was leader of the political party D66 and floorleader in parliament. Dittrich did not agree with the government's decision to send Dutch troups to the province of Uruzgan in Afghanistan. After a large majority in congress supported the government plans, Dittrich decided to step down as leader of D66. 5 Months later D66 decided to leave the coalition government out of dismay with the handling of immigration issues by the government. This forced the government to organise early elections.
Dittrich decided not to run for a 4th term in congress. The elections were held in November 2006.
On his last day of public service as member of parliament (November 29 2006) Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands rewarded Dittrich for services rendered to the Dutch society by Knighting him. He is now Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau.
Human Rights Watch.
In 2007 Dittrich started to work for the American organisation Human Rights Watch, based in New York.
He became advocacy director in the program for Leasbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights ( LGBT rights). Miscellaneous.
He lived and studied in the United States in 1974-1975.
He worked in kibbutz Dovrat in Israel in 1977.
He was secretary of the Dutch Student Orchestra (NSO) in 1978.
He was coordinator of the SOS Phone helpline Foundation for people with psychological and social problems in 1978-1981
He was president of the Young Lawyers Association Amsterdam in 1983-1985
He was vice-president of the Committee "Amsterdam helps building a new South Africa" (anti apartheid movement) in 1986-1988. He worked in the office of Priscilla Jana, Nelson Mandela's lawyer in Johannesburg, South Africa. He attended trials against members of the ANC, which was then labelled as a criminal organisation by the apartheidregime. Dittrich wrote the booklet " The crime of kidnapping, abductions by the State of South Africa".
He was secretary of the board of the political party D66 in Amsterdam, 1986- 1988.
He was elected as member of the city council in Amsterdam, division South, in 1990-1994 and became floorleader.
He was member of the board of the National Dutch Aids Foundation in 1997-2002
Dittrich is member of the board of Humanity in Action International (HIA), based in New York, since 2008. From 2009 he became member of the board of the Prince Claus Fund, based in Amsterdam. In May 2009 he published his book "Elke Liefde Telt" (352 pages) (Every love counts).