In the latest edition of ‘Cargo Magazine’ Mrs. Emily Dérogée van Roosmalen makes a strong claim for the benefits of dispute settlement under Dutch Law, opposed to the British system. Paving the way for opportunities arising from the upcoming Brexit.
Dérogée elaborates on the world-class reputation the Dutch justice system holds when it comes to accessibility, affordability, enforcement of judgement and the lack of discrimination, unreasonable legal deadlines and corruption or governmental interference. In fact, The Dutch system even holds the #1 position on the world justice project ranking list for civil justice.
Rotterdam & Amsterdam
Next to the extensive track record of dealing with transport and trade related cases, the Districts Court of Rotterdam has recently been appointed as the exclusive court -within the boundaries of EU rules- with jurisdiction for maritime affairs. As of January 2016, it was already possible to litigate in English to accommodate international trade. It is expected the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC) will be installed in Amsterdam in 2018 where English is the standard language when it comes to litigation on complex international trade disputes. According to Dérogée, the Dutch are known to be a ‘jack of all trades’ and therefore there is no need to take your trade disputes elsewhere. The Dutch are internationally renowned for being unbiased and professional. Making the Dutch system attractive for foreign parties as well.
Despite of the mentioned benefits, many parties still choose to use the British system. Maybe this has to do with tradition or just mere habits. Either way, parties are willing to submit themselves to the ‘Anglo-American’ legal system instead of using the familiar ‘civil law’ system. Those who have already arrived in London are familiar with the hefty price tag. Not only caused by the high rates of London solicitors, but also because of the cumbersome way of litigating. The Dutch system is getting more and more efficient through upgrades and digitising. Which results in significant savings in time and money.
Dérogée continues her argument explaining the benefits of the Dutch system being part of the continental civil law system. In this system attention is given to the textual content of a contract. In case this does not offer a solution, intent of both parties is brought into the equation. This approach contributes to accurate conflict resolution and legal certainty way more than literally up to the dots and commas interpreting contract terms does in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Check out www.dutchmaritimelaw.nl for more information about litigating in the Netherlands.
With the approaching Brexit, companies should think twice before choosing for British dispute settlement in trade agreements. Dérogée refers to the importance of efficient enforcement of judgement. Within the EU, verdicts are automatically acknowledged. Next to this, EU legislation prevents parties to bring one case to more than one court. Which raises the question; what is the value of a British ruling after Brexit? How to prevent double litigation? And how will traditional EU regulations be interpreted in the UK? In some academic legal literature it is already recommended to include a severance clause. Making it possible to terminate or renegotiate contracts. As if life is not difficult enough.
This is a loose translation of the article by Emily Dérogée-Van Roosmalen published in Cargo Magazine.