Court around the corner

(full text only available in Dutch)


This special issue of Justitiële verkenningen ‘Court around the corner’ focuses on the (physical) distance between the judiciary and the citizen. Many court locations in the Netherlands have been closed in recent years, with the aim of realizing cost savings through the centralization of justice. But even after the revision of the judicial map in 2013, which closed a substantial part of the court locations, the costs kept only increasing. In the meantime a genuine counter-movement seems to have emerged. It focuses on effective services, wants to leave the (ivory) office towers and be present in the neighborhoods. In Dutch parliament research was requested into the applicability of (elements of) the Belgian Peace Judge, and justice provisions ‘in every municipality’. An experiment with a ‘consultation judge’ in Groningen received enthusiastic follow-up with district, neighborhood and rule judges elsewhere in the country. A serious limitation of these experiments however is these procedures can only be started if both parties agree. Research shows that if the parties have the will to get out of it together, this often works without a judge. Matters that do come to court are primarily those disputes in which one party wants something, but the other benefits from the persistence of the impasse. Therefore it seems obvious that a latent need for administration of justice lies mainly in a low-threshold procedure in which the other party is obliged to appear in court.

Publication data

Place of publication:
The Hague
Boom juridisch
Year of publication:
Justitiële verkenningen 2019/01