The Netherlands Soon to Establish English-Speaking Commercial Court - international litigation blog
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The Netherlands Soon to Establish English-Speaking Commercial Court

The Netherlands Soon to Establish English-Speaking Commercial Court


A couple of months ago, the well-known weekly magazine The Economist” highlighted a global trend that sees jurisdictions from around the world competing to attract legal disputes before their courts. To this end, some countries (including, as previously discussed, Belgium) have (or will soon) set up special commercial courts that will conduct cases in English.

The Dutch Parliament is expected to shortly follow the same trend when it debates a new court reform bill (the Bill). The Bill aims at establishing an English-speaking court system which will have jurisdiction to hear international commercial disputes.

In anticipation of those debates in the Dutch Parliament, I wanted to provide a brief update and outline the main characteristics of this new court system:

– This English-speaking court system will consist of the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC) (which will – strictly speaking – be a special chamber of the Amsterdam district court system) and the Netherlands Commercial Court of Appeal (NCCA) (which will be a special chamber of the Amsterdam court of appeals).

– In order to sit on the bench of the NCC and the NCCA, judges will have to demonstrate a particular expertise and experience in large commercial disputes.

– Proceedings before the NCC and NCCA will be held in English and the decisions and judgements will also be rendered in English.

– The judgments rendered by this court will qualify as regular Dutch court judgements (meaning that they will be easily enforceable in the European Union).

– The proceedings will follow regular Dutch civil procedure rules.

– The NCC will have jurisdiction to hear cases in the following instances (i) civil and commercial disputes that are not subject to the jurisdiction of the Dutch cantonal court or the exclusive jurisdiction of another court; (ii) disputes having “international elements” and (iii) when the parties will have explicitly opted for the jurisdiction of the NCC.

The International Litigation Blog will, of course, keep you posted of any further development.

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