Improving access to the Court

Criminal justice proceedings / Legal proceedings

Improving access to the Court

Evaluation of the increment of the small claims limit for civil commercial cases at the Dutch Courts in 2011 (full text only available in Dutch)


This report discusses a research study, evaluating a measure introduced in 2011 that targets the handling of civil commercial cases in the Dutch Court system. In July 2011, the small claims limit for civil commercial cases in the Dutch court system was raised from € 5,000 to € 25,000. Before July 2011, commercial cases with a financial value of >€ 5,000 to ≤€ 25,000 were handled in the first instance by the civil sections of courts. In that setting, parties were obliged to hire a lawyer. Since 1 July 2011, these cases have been placed under the jurisdiction of ‘kanton’ judges, who handle the smaller cases. This marked a change in the parties’ obligations, the procedural rules, and the section of the court that handles the cases.

The evaluation of this measure focused on its consequences for access to the courts, and on the (perceived) quality of services of legal representatives in the old and the new situation.

Publication data

Eshuis, R.J.J., Geurts, T.
Place of publication:
The Hague
Year of publication:
Cahiers 2016-14

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Voor een electronische versie - zie: bijlagen (rechtsboven) (only available as pdf)

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