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Welcome /  Blog /  2015-11-doc18 English language in Dutch Courts?

2015-11-doc18 English language in Dutch Courts?

SpecificĀ Procedural Rules will apply when parties are opting for conducting international sales and maritime cases in the English language for the District Court in Rotteram.Ā  As an inovation, as of 1 January 2016 the District Court Rotterdam starts a pilot with using English in international trade, transport or sales matters. The pilot will run for a year and a half. English should be chosen by all parties to the proceedings, be it represented by members of the Dutch Bar. See for these Procedural Rules Procedure-Rules-for-proceedings-in-English. Is a person required to take an oath or make an affirmation, this will be done in English too. However, when all persons present at a hearing are Dutch, then the Dutch language can be used. Anyway, decisions rendered will be in Dutch. It is interesting to note that - evidently - decisions rendered under these Procedure Rules may be appealed in the usual manner provided in the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure and that (without prejudice to their ultimate legal judgment on the usage of English as the working language in Dutch legal proceedings) the Court of Appeal in The Hague and the Netherlands Supreme Court in principle '... have declared to be willing to adjudicate with due observance of the English-language procedural documents from the first instance which came about in conformity with these Procedure Rules.' This all is a small break through, as generally in civil proceeding in Dutch courts the Dutch language is used, see e.g. District Court Utrecht 14 December 2005, LJN AY5238; District Court Haarlem 3 Juli 2008, LJN BD 6218 as well as 4 September 2008, LJN BE9510 (all in Dutch by the way). Also under the Procedural Rules, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court may request that one or more of the English-language procedural documents from the first instance is translated into Dutch.