Civil procedural law
Civil procedural law is the collective term for the settlement of disputes between natural and artificial persons by a legally regulated institution. The disputes concern subjects of private law, such as commercial and labour matters, the law of persons and family law, contract law, liability issues, tenders and contracting of works.
In Dutch law, an important distinction is made between an ordinary lawsuit, proceedings on the merits of a case and interlocutory proceedings. With interlocutory proceedings, the claimant asks an experienced judge, the judge in interlocutory proceedings, to impose an interim measure quickly. The judge in interlocutory proceedings does not examine the case in detail, and so his decision is of a provisional nature.
Proceedings on the merits of the case
Often the parties will accept the provisional decision of the judge in interlocutory proceedings. However, this does not need to be the case, and the party ruled against can submit the same discussion to the ordinary court in proceedings on the merits of the case. This court will subject the case to a thorough intrinsic examination if necessary. It may be that the successful party in interlocutory proceedings may end up being ruled against in proceedings on the merits of the case.
In virtually all Dutch proceedings there is the possibility for appeal. Initially the claimant will submit the dispute to the court. The party ruled against may then submit the case once again, within a statutory period of time, to the Appeal Court. However, the party ruled against must state clearly why the first court gave the wrong decision.
The Code of Civil Procedure also sets out the framework for a Dutch arbitration procedure. The arbitrators and parties have the freedom within that framework to decide on the procedure themselves. The parties may themselves appoint an adjudicator, or arbitrator. Arbitrators are not always lawyers. Usually arbitrators are in fact experts in the area of the law which is at the heart of the dispute. With arbitration, in principle an appeal is not possible unless the parties have precisely agreed on this.
In all the above-mentioned forms of proceedings, the assistance of a lawyer is essential. The lawyer streamlines the discussion and ensures that the judge or arbitrator has the necessary information in a readily understandable form. CMS has many years of experience in this area and can therefore provide you with expert professional assistance.
CMS is particularly active in construction and IT-related arbitrations, though the team is well equipped to handle a broad range of corporate and commercial disputes. Peter Soede, Mark Ziekman and Jeroen Berlage are key contacts.
Legal 500 2015