Planning of the Netherlands Commercial Court
The Netherlands Commercial Court Act (Wet Netherlands Commercial Court) is slated to come into force on 1 January 2018.
The Netherlands Commercial Court has come one step closer to fruition in July, 2017, with the tabling of the implementing legislative bill before the Dutch Parliament on 18 July 2017. The Netherlands Commercial Court Bill contains amendments to the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure to provide for the use of English as the language of proceedings and to allow the “international commercial chamber” of the Amsterdam District Court and Court of Appeal (as the Netherlands Commercial Court and Netherlands Commercial Court of Appeal are referred to in the Bill) to hand down judgments in the English language.
In addition to this, the bill also provides for certain amendments to the Dutch Civil Proceedings (Court Fees) Act to provide for the special filing fees that litigants before the Netherlands Commercial Court will have to pay.
After missing the original proposed starting date of 1 January 2017, with this step the Netherlands Commercial Court looks to be on track to open its doors on the revised starting date of 1 January 2018.
Notwithstanding the delays in the launch of the NCC, support for the first fully English language commercial court in the Netherlands remains strong. The strong political support for the initiative is apparent from the discussions of the Standing Committee, with Christian Democrat Madeleine van Toorenburg MP underlining the importance of the NCC, in particular with the Brexit on its way. This was echoed by Mr Van Oosten, who cited the value of the NCC as a vehicle to promote the exemplary Dutch legal system and to attract litigation from other jurisdictions to the Netherlands. According to Mr Van Oosten, this is in keeping with the Netherlands’ history as a country with a tradition of international trade and an international legal profession.