In 2002 nearly 600 thousand civil court cases were disposed of by the Dutch law courts. About half of these cases were disposed of by means of a decree, and the other half by a court order. This means that on a normal working day, judges in civil cases pass sentence in around 2,400 cases.
Number of civil court cases
The number of decrees and court orders in civil court cases has tripled in the last 25 years.
Decrees per type of court
Since 2002 Dutch law courts comprise a ‘cantonal sector’ and a ‘civil sector’. The cantonal sectors disposed of some 250 thousand summons procedures in 2002. Around 80 percent of these were disposed of by means of a sentence in absentia. These are often debt recovery procedures.
The number of labour-related cases showed a noticeable rise: from 40 thousand court orders in 2001 to more than 63 thousand in 2002.
Within the civil sector the number of decrees and orders has risen slightly in the last five years and is now 150 thousand. About a quarter of these cases are divorce procedures.
Court orders by type of court
Appeal courts and the High Court
The civil chambers of the courts of appeal dispose of about 7 thousand cases a year. These are mostly cases of appeal against sentences pronounced by the law courts. The civil chamber of the High Court deals with approximately 500 appeals for cassation a year.