From District Court to Subdistrict Court

Civil law and civil procedure / Commercial law

From District Court to Subdistrict Court


This study maps out the consequences of shifting the competence threshold from NLG 5000 to NLG 10,000 with effect from 1 January 1999. In general, the shift in competence limit can be regarded as ‘effective’, in the sense that parties actually engage legal service providers other than lawyers on a large scale. Defendants have also, on a large scale, started to conduct legal proceedings without legal assistance. The freedom of choice with regard to engaging legal service providers is being utilised, and the expenses that the parties incur in this respect have decreased. The shorter and less complicated proceedings that take place at subdistrict courts also contribute towards saving costs for the parties in legal proceedings, as do the lower court fees. The most noticeable side effect of the measure is the sharp increase in the number of cases being transferred. The qualitative changes in the way in which cases are handled and concluded constitute another side effect. Finally, there have been a number of organisational effects with regard to capacity and workload, both at the district courts (where there has been a reduction in the number of cases) and at the subdistrict courts (where there has been an increase in the number of cases).

Publication data

Eshuis, R.J.J., Paulides, G.
Place of publication:
The Hague
Year of publication:
Onderzoek en beleid 203