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National News

Netherlands - Courts Simplified

August 27, 2020 posted by Steve Brownstein

About the district courts
The Netherlands is divided into eleven districts, each with its own court.
Each court has a number of sub-district venues. The district court is made up of a maximum of five sectors. These always include the administrative sector, civil sector, criminal sector and sub-district sector. Family and juvenile cases are often put into a separate sector, as is sometimes the case with the administration of the law concerning aliens. The court board is free to determine such matters.
Sub-district sector
It is relatively simple for ordinary citizens to have their case heard in the sub-district sector. They have the right to argue their own case and do not need a lawyer to represent them in court. Cases are handled by a single judge.
In terms of civil law, the sub-district judge deals with all cases involving rents, hire purchase and employment.
In criminal law, the sub-district judge only deals with minor offences, not serious offences. Often these are cases in which the police or the public prosecutor has proposed a settlement. If the accused refuses to accept such a proposal, then the case comes before the sub-district judge. The sub-district judge usually delivers an oral judgment immediately after the hearing.

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