On 1 September 2017 new (KEI) legislation entered into force in the Netherlands, which consists of a complete overhaul of the way legal proceedings take place in the Netherlands.
From 1 September 2017 litigation and legal proceedings will only take place in a digital form through a web application (mijnrechtspraak.nl) for every claim of € 25.000 or more. Every attorney in the Netherlands has access to this web application and can communicate directly with the courts and can submit subpoenas, writs, statements etc. directly. The courts communicate through this web portal with all attorneys about the contents of the proceedings, deadlines, witnesses etc.
In principle the KEI legislation will be rolled out nationally, however it is expected that all courts are connected to the web portal at 1 March 2018.
The aim of this new legislation
The aim of KEI legislation is to simplify and digitalise procedural law to replace both the existing summons proceedings and the application proceedings. The separate summons and applications proceedings are merged into one, in order to create a new single application, the process introduction. It is not necessary anymore to serve a summons through a bailiff, however for evidence purposes it seems advisory to continue this practice.
The KEI legislation also introduces additional legal deadlines for the performance of specific procedural actions, these deadlines will be monitored more strictly and sanctioned when partiers are in breach.
The aim of KEI legislation is also to give the courts more control over the proceedings and to give the courts more possibilities to “tailor made” proceedings, should that in a given case be necessary.
Changes as a result of this new legislation
The Kei legislation:
Amends the code of civil Procedure and the General Administrative Law Act relating to the simplification and digitalisation of procedural law1;
Amends the code of civil Procedure relating to the simplification and digitalisation of procedural appeal and cassation2;
Implements procedural simplification and digitalisation3;
Adjusts laws in connection with the implementation of procedural simplification and digitalisation and expansion of preliminary legal questions4
The KEI legislation has been post phoned a few times, since The Dutch Bar Association and the Royal Professional Association of Bailiffs have complained that there was not enough time to prepare introduction of this revolutionary new way of legal proceedings and that there was not enough time for software companies to develop and implement system to system links, plug ins and/or portals to connect DMS/CMS systems with the courts.
Given the short time that the KEI legislation is in force, there are currently only rulings about certain aspects of the KEI system itself: malfunction of software, interpretation of deadlines etc.
1 Wijziging van het Wetboek van burgerlijke Rechtsvordering en de Algemene wet Bestuursrecht, Kamerstukken II-2014/15 34 059 2 Wijziging van het Wetboek van burgerlijke Rechtsvordering in relatie tot hoger beroep en cassatie Kamerstukken II 2014/15 34 138 3 Invoeringswet vereenvoudiging en digitalisering procesrecht Kamerstukken II 2014/15 24 212