Judicial system Netherlands

This is a print of a page on Look for the most up-to-date information on ( This page is printed on 01-01-1970.

Skip Navigation LinksHome > English

The judicial system

The Netherlands is divided into 11 districts, each with its own court. Each district court is made up of a maximum of 5 sectors, which always include the administrative law, civil law, criminal law and sub-district law sector.


  • Appeals against judgments passed by the district court in civil and criminal law cases can be lodged at the competent Court of Appeal (there are 4 Courts of Appeal in total);
  • Appeals against administrative law judgments at the competent specialised administrative law tribunal - the Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State, the Central Appeals Tribunal or the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal, also known as Administrative High Court for Trade and Industry, depending on the type of case.
  • Appeals in cassation in civil, criminal and tax law cases are lodged at the Supreme Court of the Netherlands.


The Council for the Judiciary

The Council for the Judiciary (Raad voor de rechtspraak) is part of the judiciary system, but does not administer justice itself. It has taken over responsibility over a number of tasks from the Minister of Justice. These tasks are operational in nature and include the allocation of budgets, supervision of financial management, personnel policy, ICT and housing. The Council supports the courts in executing their tasks in these areas. Another central task of the Council is to promote quality within the judiciary system and to advise on new legislation which has implications for the administration of justice. The Council also acts as a spokesperson for the judiciary on both national and international levels.


International cooperation

Independence, impartiality, integrity and professionalism are the core values of the judiciary. All though these values have not changed, society has, not in the least because of globalisation. The judiciary finds itself in a rapidly internationalised legal order, both within the European Union and outside it. This demands a wide cross-border perspective with regard to judicial cooperation and international relations. The Council for the Judiciary deems it an important part of its tasks to promote and protect the rule of law, both on an national and an international level.


Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC)

The Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC) is a specialised court designed to meet the growing need for efficient dispute resolution of civil or commercial matters with an international aspect. Based in Amsterdam, the NCC operates under Dutch procedural law, which is highly regarded for its pragmatism and efficiency, while the working language of the NCC is English.