Supreme Court of the Netherlands

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Supreme Court of the Netherlands
Hoge Raad der Nederlanden  (Dutch)
Supreme Court of the Netherlands, The Hague 06.jpg
Supreme Court of the Netherlands, The Hague
Established1 October 1838
Location The Hague, Netherlands
Coordinates 52°5′0.52″N4°18′41.85″E / 52.0834778°N 4.3116250°E / 52.0834778; 4.3116250 Coordinates: 52°5′0.52″N4°18′41.85″E / 52.0834778°N 4.3116250°E / 52.0834778; 4.3116250
MottoUbi iudicia deficiunt incipit bellum
Composition methodSelected by the House of Representatives on advice of the Supreme Court and appointed by royal decree
Authorized by Constitution of the Netherlands
Statute of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Judge term length Life tenure with mandatory retirement at the age of 70
Number of positionsVaries (currently 36)
Website www.hogeraad.nl
President of the Supreme Court
CurrentlyDineke de Groot
Since1 November 2020 [1]
State coat of arms of the Netherlands.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Netherlands

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands (Dutch : Hoge Raad der Nederlanden [ˈɦoːɣə raːt dɛr ˈneːdərlɑndə(n)] [2] or simply Hoge Raad), officially the High Council of the Netherlands, is the final court of appeal in civil, criminal and tax cases in the Netherlands, including Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Aruba. [3] The Court was established on 1 October 1838 and is located in The Hague. [4]

Contents

The Supreme Court rules civil and criminal matters. In certain administrative cases it has final jurisdiction as well, while in other cases this jurisdiction rests with the adjudicative division of the Council of State (Raad van State), the Central Appeals Tribunal (Centrale Raad van Beroep), the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (College van Beroep van het bedrijfsleven) as well as judicial institutions in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Court is a court of cassation, which means that it has the competence to quash or affirm rulings of lower courts, but no competence to re-examine or question the facts. It only considers whether the lower courts applied the law correctly and the rulings have sufficient reasoning. [5] In so doing it establishes case law. According to Article 120 of the Constitution, courts may not rule on the constitutionality of laws passed by the States General and treaties. With the exception of the Constitutional Court of Sint Maarten (which rules on constitutionality with regards to the Sint Maarten constitution only) courts thus have no competence for judicial review with respect to the Constitution. [6] [7]

The Supreme Court currently consists of 36 judges: a president, six vice presidents, twenty-five justices (raadsheren, literally "Lords of the Council") and four justices extraordinary (buitengewone dienst). [8] All judges are appointed for life, until they retire at their own request or mandatorily at the age of 70. [9]

History

The Huis Huguetan on Lange Voorhout, Supreme Court seat from 1988 to 2016 Hoge raad gebouw lange voorhout.jpg
The Huis Huguetan on Lange Voorhout, Supreme Court seat from 1988 to 2016

The development of cassation in the Netherlands was heavily influenced by the French during the Batavian Revolution at the end of 18th century. The establishment of the Supreme Court on 1838 brought an end to the Great Council of Mechelen and its successor the Hoge Raad van Holland en Zeeland, which both served as high appellate courts. [4]

Second World War

Lodewijk Ernst Visser, President of the Dutch Supreme Court from 1939-1941 Dr. Lodewijk Ernst Visser, president van de Hoge Raad.png
Lodewijk Ernst Visser, President of the Dutch Supreme Court from 1939-1941

During the German occupation, the Supreme Court kept functioning. In November 1940 the German occupiers forced its President, Lodewijk Ernst Visser, to resign because he was Jewish. Visser's colleagues did not protest. The members who remained also signed a compulsory declaration about Aryans.

After the liberation, people reproached the Court for a weak and legalistic attitude. The Court wished above all to guarantee the continuity of its jurisdiction and not to become involved in politics. However such chances as there were to take a stand on principle against the Germans were largely missed. The Justices either omitted to give a moral example or felt they were not in a position to do so. [10] This was demonstrated in a so-called "Test sentence", (Supreme Court, 12 January 1942, NJ 1942/271), in which the Supreme Court ruled that a Dutch judge could not contest the decrees of the occupying force on the basis of international law, in particular the 1907 regulation prescribed for a country at war. In this the Supreme Court followed the advice of the barrister-general A. Rombach. The judgment concerned a case in which a man was sentenced by the economic judge for an "economic offence" (the purchase of pork without valid coupons). The counsel for the accused, P. Groeneboom, argued in his defense before the Supreme Court on 27 October 1941 that the judge had the authority to challenge the regulations of the occupying force on the basis of the regulation prescribed for a country at war, the decree of the Führer and the first regulation of the government commissioner. When the Supreme Court (in a judgment of 12 January 1942) denied the possibility of contesting rules issued by the German government, the Netherlands followed what was the rule in Germany and Italy too. On the basis of two emergency measures Hitler had the authority to issue incontestable rules, and the legal establishment acknowledged not it was not allowed to challenge "political" measures. "Political" in this case was what the political authorities considered to be political. In Italy the Court of Appeal recognized the free authority of Mussolini and the judge's lack of authority to control it. [11] Meihuizen says about the Dutch test sentence: "A sentence with far-reaching consequences because with this, barristers were not given the chance to bring before the judge the question of the validity of legislation which had been issued by or on behalf of the occupier." [12] :85 The Supreme Court defended this sentence in retrospect with the conjecture that the Germans would never accept their decrees being contested and might have intervened in a negative way with the legal establishment, resulting in a further diminishing of citizens' legal protection. [10]

In 1943 the seat of the Supreme Court was temporarily moved from The Hague to Nijmegen. With the liberation of Nijmegen in September 1944, this led to a situation in which, although the seat was on liberated ground, most of the Justices found themselves still in occupied territory. After the war, there was not much done to clear matters; lawyers who had collaborated with the Germans generally kept their jobs or got important other positions. A crucial role in this affair was played by J. Donner, who became President of the Supreme Court in 1946. [10]

Authority

In the Netherlands a case is first heard by one of the ten district courts (rechtbanken). Afterwards, either side may appeal to one of the four courts of appeal (gerechtshoven). Finally, either party may file a cassation appeal to the Supreme Court.

Composition

Justices of the Supreme Court are appointed by royal decree, chosen from a list of three, advised by the House of Representatives on the advice of the Court itself. The justices are, like every other judge in the Netherlands, appointed for life, until they retire at their own will or after reaching the age of 70. Upon reaching the age of 60, a justice may change status to extraordinary, with the effect that the justice no longer plays a full role at the Court.

The Supreme Court is divided into four chambers: the first or civil chamber, the second or criminal chamber, the third or tax chamber and the fourth or ombudsman chamber. The members of the fourth division are chosen ad hoc , but will include the President of the Court. [9]

Current Justices

As of April 2016, the first three chambers are composed as follows: [9]

NameChamberInvestedBorn
Ernst Numann(Vice President)Civil20001950
Floris Bakels(Vice President)Civil20031949
Annemarie van Buchem-SpapensCivil1 September 19981951
Kees StreefkerkCivil1 October 20041955
Toon HeisterkampCivil1 February 20071953
Gerbrant SnijdersCivil1 June 20111961
Dineke de GrootCivil1 February 20121965
Martijn PolakCivil1 September 20121961
Vincent van den BrinkCivil1 October 20121966
Tanja van den BroekCivil1 January 20141964
Edgar du PerronCivil1 April 20161965
Willem van Schendel(Vice President)Criminal20011950
Leo van Dorst(Vice President)Criminal19991949
Bon de Savornin LohmanCriminal1 April 20001947
Jaap de HulluCriminal1 September 20031958
Tineke Splinter-Van KanCriminal24 January 20051947
Ybo BurumaCriminal1 September 20111955
Elishewa van de GriendCriminal1 February 20141963
Nastja van StrienCriminal1 June 20151961
Eveline FaaseCriminal1 September 20151958
Matthias BorgersCriminal1 January 20161973
Jeppe Balkema [Note 1] Criminal19981946
Jan Ilsink [Note 1] Criminal20031946
Maarten Feteris(President)Tax20081960
Jacques Overgaauw(Vice President)Tax20081951
Robert Koopman(Vice President)Tax1 February 20101962
Dick van VlietTax19971946
Bernard BavinckTax1 January 20001946
Liesbeth PuntTax24 January 20051962
Cees SchaapTax1 September 20061947
Piet van LoonTax1 February 20091954
Marc FierstraTax1 June 20091959
Theo GroeneveldTax1 February 20121948
Jules WortelTax1 February 20121954
Loek van KalmthoutTax1 June 20131955
Mariken van HiltenTax1 September 20151964
Peter Lourens [Note 1] Tax19991946
Jaap van den Berge [Note 1] Tax20011948
  1. 1 2 3 4 Supernumerary justice.

See also

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References

  1. Central Government 13-3-20 Appointment new president Supreme Court
  2. In isolation, Raad and der are pronounced [raːt] and [dɛr] , respectively.
  3. "Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba". Rechtspraak.nl (in Dutch). De Rechtspraak. 27 July 2007. Archived from the original on 19 October 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  4. 1 2 "Geschiedenis van de Hoge Raad". Rechtspraak.nl (in Dutch). De Rechtspraak. 18 September 2004. Archived from the original on 6 October 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  5. "Supreme Court". Rechtspraak.nl. De Rechtspraak. 10 August 2009. Archived from the original on 16 October 2009. Retrieved 2 December 2009.
  6. According to article 120 of the Constitution of the Netherlands, judges will not rule on the constitutionality of laws passed by the States General and treaties.
  7. For a discussion of judicial review in the Netherlands see Uzman, J.; Barkhuysen, T.; van Emmerik, M.L. "The Dutch Supreme Court: A Reluctant Positive Legislator?" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2014.
  8. "The World Factbook". cia.gov. Archived from the original on 29 January 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2013.
  9. 1 2 3 "Raad". Rechtspraak.nl (in Dutch). De Rechtspraak. Archived from the original on 29 January 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2016.
  10. 1 2 3 Corjo Jansen en Derk Venema, "The Supreme Court and the Second World War" (in Dutch), Boom, Amsterdam, 2011.
  11. Derk Venema, "Judges in war time: The Dutch judiciary's confrontation with national socialism and the occupation" (in Dutch), Boom, Amsterdam, 2007.
  12. Joggli Meihuizen, "Narrow Margins. The Dutch Bar during World War II." (in Dutch), Boom, Amsterdam, 2010 (an English summary was also published by Boom, Amsterdam, 2010).