The Supreme Court of The Netherlands consists of three chambers: the civil, the criminal and the tax chamber.
The structure, of a civil, criminal and fiscal/tax chamber corresponds with the structure at our eleven – – district courts and our five regular courts of appeal.
Our civil, criminal and fiscal chamber each have about ten members.
For each chamber applies that some of the members are specialists, others generalists. As a rule the generalists are career judges. In the group of the specialists you will find law professors, lawyers, tax consultants and also career judges (mostly judges from courts of appeal or from disctrict courts).
Fundamental or complicated cases are decided by a combination (chair) of five justices. All other cases are decided by a combination of three.
The combination decides with a majority vote. But the other members of the chamber (the so-called reserves) also have some influence in the decision-making process.
The chamber will deal with a case after proceedings that are in fact exclusively in writing. Oral hearing are rare.