Today – 11 December 2018 – the Dutch Senate approved legislation that facilitates the introduction of the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC District Court and NCC Court of Appeal).
The NCC courts intend to provide high quality and efficient international dispute resolution for businesses. All briefs, hearings and court rulings will be in English and will be directly enforceable throughout the European Union without further ado.
The NCC court fees will be somewhat more costly than regular court fees in The Netherlands. However, the fees will be substantially lower than the costs for arbitration. Before the Senate the Dutch Minister of Justice defended the adoption of the NCC legislation with a reference to the explicit intention of the NCC to compete with arbitration institutes, as well as similar English speaking courts based in the European Union. Currently these are being established in Paris, Brussels and Frankfurt.
The NCC District Court and NCC Court of Appeal will be based in Amsterdam at the Palace of Justice, which is also home to the Amsterdam Court of Appeal. The NCC will use Dutch procedural law, which is highly regarded for its pragmatic approach and efficient operation. Litigating under tailor made procedural rules – for instance on evidential burden – will be possible.
The Dutch legislator estimates the NCC to rule in about 125 cases a year. It is expected the NCC will contribute to the position of The Netherlands as a central trading hub in the European Union. In addition, the NCC intends to prolong and affirm the well-established Dutch judicial tradition. The Netherlands already hosts the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, several war-tribunals and the Permanent Court of Arbitration.