For almost all types of cases, the judicial system in the Netherlands consists of three instances. In brief:
- in the first instance the case comes before a district court
- if the decision of the district court is contested, the Court of Appeal examines the case
- in the case of an appeal in cassation, the Supreme Court examines whether a lower court has observed proper application of the law in reaching its decision.
There are many exceptions to this principle, especially in the case of administrative law. Which judicial body deals which cases is laid down in legislation.