The Dutch Judiciary wants to contribute to strengthening the judiciary in the Netherlands and abroad. The Judiciary does this by further expanding cooperation in those countries where the judiciary is under pressure, but also by coordinating efforts in European networks. In addition, Dutch legal experts support judicial organizations under pressure through a strategically appointed position. Through this international cooperation, the Dutch Judiciary can also learn from abroad and, when necessary, formulate a national policy to protect and strengthen the Dutch judiciary.
In international cooperation, the Judiciary focuses on two themes: the rule of law and quality.
Rule of law
In addition to democracy and fundamental rights, the rule of law is one of the fundamental values on which the European Union has been established, and one aspect of the rule of law is an independent judiciary. The shared values have been developed and laid down in laws and regulations which the European Member States have been sharing with one another for more than 60 years. The preservation and protection of the rule of law is a responsibility of both the judiciary branch and the legislative and executive branches of government.
An effective and reliable judiciary is essential to public confidence and trust in the Judiciary, and if the independent position of the judiciary is being compromised, this is bound to affect quality levels as well. It is therefore the responsibility of the Judiciary to improve the quality of the judiciary on an ongoing basis. Specifically, the Council for the Judiciary, in accordance with Section 94 of the Judicial Organisation Act (Wet op de Rechterlijke organisatie) is tasked with supporting activities of the courts designed to ensure a consistent application of the law and the promotion of the quality of the legal system. Supporting the quality improvement of international courts and judicial organisations and learning from these organisations is a fundamental part of international cooperation.
In November 2021, the Council for the Judiciary organised a theme week on remote hearings where experts from different countries shared their experiences. View the sessions:
The following three instruments are used in advancing the rule of law and quality of judiciary:
- Bilateral cooperation
- European networks
- The deployment of experts in international projects
Find more information on the instruments below.