From 1 January 2016, the District Court of Rotterdam will be offering the option of conducting proceedings in English for certain categories of cases. The cases that will qualify for this pilot project are those involving maritime law, transport law and international sale of goods.
The Maritime Chamber of the Rotterdam District Court is specialized in these types of court procedures. Often these cases involve international parties and they will now be able to jointly request the Rotterdam District Court for a procedure in English instead of Dutch. This is a pilot with strict limitations. The District Court of Rotterdam hopes that it will go further to meet the needs of international trade.
The main goal of the pilot is to ascertain whether proceedings held in English fulfil a need that exists in international trade. The pilot will initially run for eighteen months. The applicable procedure rules in Dutch and in English can be found here.
In October 2015 the District Court of Rotterdam already started to publish summaries in English, on a regular basis, of port-related civil court rulings issued by its Maritime Chamber. The relevance of these cases often extends beyond the Dutch-speaking world. By publishing summaries in English, the court also enables foreign companies, lawyers and academics to remain better informed on what are to them interesting judgments.
English summaries up until now: