What joy this summer thanks to our women footballers winning the European Cup 2017 and showing such commitment and passion. Besides women’s football there are many things – to say the least – that the Netherlands is very good at. I need not say anything about our functioning as a logistical hub; you know that better than me.
No. 1 in civil justice
I would like to seek your attention for something that those who close business deals prefer not to think about much until it is too late: our legal system. That this is one of the very best in the world is often not well known. It’s not in our nature, let alone that of our judges, to blow our own trumpet. Yet it is important that everyone is aware of this. Our legal system is the basis of our daily existence and our commercial operations.
It is at the top (no. 1) of the world ranking with regard to civil justice, under which all contract law falls. According to the rest of the world, our legal system stands out because of the following essential qualities:
accessibility and affordability, free of discrimination, free of corruption, free of improper influence by public officials, no unreasonable delays, effective enforcement of judgments (I will come back to this later). In order to obtain such a high ranking, a country must have, alongside excellent regular justice, good alternative options such as arbitration and mediation.
Rotterdam and Amsterdam
The Rotterdam Court, with its many years of expertise in the area of trade and transport, deserves a special mention. Not only has this Court exclusive authority to judge maritime affairs, since 1 January 2016 it is also possible to litigate in the English language in order to be able to meet the wishes of international trading parties. It is expected that in 2018 the Netherlands Commercial Court will be launched in Amsterdam where it will be standard practice for proceedings regarding complex international trade disputes to be conducted in English.
We can turn our (legal) hand to anything
You would think, therefore, that in trade disputes you most certainly need not go elsewhere. Even a foreign contracting party should not be unsympathetic to the choice of Dutch jurisdiction and arbitration; internationally we are seen as being both neutral and professional.
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