Sharp increase in civil court cases

12/07/2005 14:00

In 2004 nearly 770 thousand civil court cases were disposed of by Dutch courts. Approximately half were decrees, the other half were court orders. In particular judgements pronounced in subdistrict courts increased sharply (+ 20 percent compared to 2003).

Number of civil court cases
 Number of civil court cases

Since 1980 judgements pronounced in civil court cases increased almost fourfold, a rise by nearly 12 percent on 2003.

Decrees by type of court
Decrees by type of court

Law courts, subdistrict and civil sectors

Law courts currently comprise a ‘subdistrict sector’ and a ‘civil sector’ to deal with civil court cases. Approximately 380 thousand decrees were pronounced in Dutch subdistrict court sectors in 2004 and 200 thousand were settled by court orders. Some 80 percent of judgements imposed by judges in subdistrict court sectors were sentences in absentia and mainly concern debt recovery procedures initiated by housing corporations and insurance and telecom companies.

The number of court orders referring to employment contract dissolutions fell by 9 percent in 2004. On the other hand, the Centre for Work and Income (CWI) recorded a 7 percent rise in dismissal applications disposed of in 2004. Nationwide, the total number of dismissal procedures dealt with in subdistrict courts and the CWI fell marginally by 1 percent.

In the civil sectors the number of decrees and court orders increased in 2004 compared to the previous year; decrees went up by 8 percent, court orders by 7 percent.

Court orders by type of court
Court orders by type of court

Courts of appeal and the Dutch Supreme Court

The civil chambers of the courts of appeal disposed of 8.8 thousand cases in 2004. These were mostly cases of appeal against decrees and court orders pronounced by law courts. The civil chamber of the Dutch Supreme Court annually deals with approximately 500 cassation appeals.

Elly Koeijers