The Functioning of the European Small Claims Procedure in the Netherlands: Normative and Empirical Reflections
Nederlands Internationaal Privaatrecht 2013(3), p. 319-328
19 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2013 Last revised: 1 Oct 2013
Date Written: September 27, 2013
The European small claims procedure was the first uniform adversarial procedure in the EU, introduced to increase the efficiency and to reduce the costs of cross-border small claims litigation in the Member States. The European Commission regards this procedure as an important potential contribution to access to justice in order to resolve small claims disputes. However, there are clear signs that this procedure is seldom used and the Commission seeks to improve its attractiveness. This paper focuses on the implementation and application of this European procedure in the Netherlands. Normative and empirical research has been conducted to assess how this procedure is embedded in the Dutch legal order and how it actually functions in practice and is perceived by the judiciary. The question is whether, from the Dutch perspective, this procedure meets the objectives of providing a simple, fast and low-cost alternative to existing national procedures, while respecting the right to a fair trial. The paper concludes with several recommendations for improvement.
Keywords: European small claims, Netherlands, access to justice, fair trial
JEL Classification: K41, K33, K12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation