Bierens Lawyers provide expertise to New York Bar Association

1 min.

The International Law Practicum is a publication of the International Section of the New York State Bar Association. Each edition they publish focuses on a particular theme of interest to their New York and international readers.

This volumes theme focuses on the enforceability of foreign judgments and arbitral awards in jurisdictions around the world. When it comes to Dutch Law, the NYSBA could think of no-one better to ask than Bierens.

Our international lawyers, Marielene de Ruijter – Van Den Brand and Zijad Jusic provided their expertise on the subject regarding options for judicial and arbitral awards in the Netherlands.

Below is a short overview of the article published in the International Law Practicum. To read the whole article, visit

The Dutch court system

The Netherlands has 11 courts, four courts of appeal and 1 supreme court. The courts handle civil, criminal and administrative law cases. Monetary claims with an interest of up to 25,000 euros; labour-law issues and cases relating to consumer credit (up to 40,000 euros); rental (purchase) contracts; and agency contracts, must be submitted to the subdistrict section within the courts, i.e., the subdistrict court.

If you disagree with a civil judge’s decision, you can appeal to the court of appeal within three months after the decision.

It is also possible to appeal to the highest court: The Supreme Court. The Supreme Court assesses whether the (sub)district court and/or the court of appeal have properly interpreted and applied the law.

Arbitration in the Netherlands

When it comes to arbitration in the Netherlands, there is one key thing to consider first: did the award originate from a country that are party to an enforcement treaty and/or regulation or not? Depending on the answer, there will be a potentially very different outcome.

There are several advantages to having an international trade dispute settled by arbitration instead of by a judge:

  • The specific expertise of arbitrators
  • The confidentiality of the procedure
  • Greater freedom to shape a procedure may be a reason to opt for arbitration
  • Easier to enforce because most countries are members of the New York Convention

In the Netherlands it is relatively easy to enforce foreign court and/or arbitration awards that fall under the Brussels Regulation (recast) or the New York Convention.

Foreign Awards outside the Treaty or Regulation

However, the recognition and enforcement of foreign judicial and arbitral awards that are not covered by a treaty or regulation are more difficult. That being said, there are clear procedures that guarantee a Dutch enforceable title can be obtained, so long as requirements are met.

More information

Do you want to know more about judicial and arbitral awards in the Netherlands? Do you have a conflict with a Dutch customer and need advice? Get in touch with us today.