The NCC will be a specialised court, focusing on large and complex international commercial disputes such as contractual disputes, tort claims, property law disputes and corporate disputes. According to the plans, the NCC will reside in the existing district court and court of appeal of Amsterdam.
The Dutch Minister of Security and Justice informed the Dutch Parliament that legislation altering existing Dutch civil procedure law will be proposed during the course of this year, in order to create the NCC.
Although the procedural rules of the NCC have not yet been published, the plan of the Dutch Council for the Judiciary, sets out the following principles:
- The proceedings will be held in English, unless both parties agree to proceed in Dutch.
- The proceedings will be conducted using electronic communication.
- All disputes will be resolved by three (Dutch) judges in both first instance and appeal, in contrast to other commercial courts where generally only one judge presides.
- As with arbitration, proceedings can only be initiated before the NCC on a voluntary basis. The NCC will have jurisdiction if parties choose to resolve existing disputes before it and in respect of disputes arising out of, or in relation to, contracts containing an NCC choice-of-forum clause.
- The NCC will not provide any specific instruments for preliminary relief. Parties searching for preliminary relief before a Dutch court will, however, continue to have access to preliminary relief proceedings at the regular courts.
According to the plans, the NCC will be financed solely out of court fees. The costs per case are currently estimated at approximately €26,500. It is not yet determined how the court fees per party will be calculated. However, it is to be noted that these costs are higher than the ‘general’ court proceedings in the Netherlands in relation to complex and large international commercial disputes, where the court fees amount up to a maximum of €7,806.
It is possible for parties to agree on the amount of legal costs, prior to or at the start of the legal proceedings before the NCC. Where parties do not agree on the amount of legal costs, the NCC will apply the court-approved scale of costs.