The Supreme Cassation Court of the Netherlands: Efficient engineer for the unity and development of the law

Remme Verkerk, C.H. van Rhee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


The dutch supreme cassation court was established in 1838 within the context of the french cassation tradition. From its inception important improvements were implemented when compared to the french model, for example the rule that cassation appeal would be allowed only one time in any single case, and that the cassation court would be able to provide a final judgment itself if the facts of the case did not need further inquiry. Since the 1980s supreme court litigation and practices have changed significantly. There were two main drivers for reform. The first was the need to diminish the supreme court’s workload. The second concerned the changing views on the role of the supreme court. Presently, the court’s function of promoting the development of the law is emphasized. Five measures have been implemented to enable the efficient allocation of the court’s resources and to enhance the court’s ability to promote the further development of the law: the court may decide relatively simple cases by a panel of three rather than five judges; the court may dismiss cases without giving reasons for its decision; the court may dismiss cases at a very early stage in the proceedings (selection at the gate); a specialized supreme court bar was introduced; and lower courts may ask the supreme court to give a preliminary ruling on legal questions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSupreme Courts in transition in China and the West
Subtitle of host publicationAdjudication at the service of public goals
EditorsC.H. van Rhee, Y. Fu
Place of PublicationCham
ISBN (Electronic)978-33-1952-344-6
ISBN (Print)978-33-1952-343-9
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

SeriesIus Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice

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