The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court; the Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union.
It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, dubbed'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands means'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level, nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.30 million people, all living within a total area of 41,500 square kilometres —of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres —the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture; the Netherlands was the third country in the world to have representative government, it has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848.
The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness; the Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and varying names in different languages. There is diversity within languages; this holds for English, where Dutch is the adjective form and the misnomer Holland a synonym for the country "Netherlands". Dutch comes from Theodiscus and in the past centuries, the hub of Dutch culture is found in its most populous region, home to the capital city of Amsterdam.
Referring to the Netherlands as Holland in the English language is similar to calling the United Kingdom "Britain" by people outside the UK. The term is so pervasive among potential investors and tourists, that the Dutch government's international websites for tourism and trade are "holland.com" and "hollandtradeandinvest.com". The region of Holland consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces a single province, earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom. Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region; the emphasis on Holland during the formation of the Dutch Republic, the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 16th, 17th and 18th century, made Holland serve as a pars pro toto for the entire country, now considered either incorrect, informal, or, depending on context, opprobrious. Nonetheless, Holland is used in reference to the Netherlands national football team.
The region called the Low Countries and the Country of the Netherlands. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in places all over Europe, they are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben, Superior or Haut. In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea; the geographical location of the upper region, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior and upstream Germania Superior; the designation'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries. But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France; the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for their original
Case law is a set of past rulings by tribunals that meet their respective jurisdictions' rules to be cited as precedent. These interpretations are distinguished from statutory law, which are the statutes and codes enacted by legislative bodies, regulatory law, which are regulations established by executive agencies based on statutes; the term "case law" is applied to any set of previous rulings by an adjudicatory tribunal that guides future rulings. In common law countries the term is used for judicial decisions of selected appellate courts, courts of first instance, agency tribunals, other bodies discharging adjudicatory functions. In common law countries, "case law" is a near-exact synonym for "common law". In the common law tradition, courts decide the law applicable to a case by interpreting statutes and applying precedents which record how and why prior cases have been decided. Unlike most civil law systems, common law systems follow the doctrine of stare decisis, by which most courts are bound by their own previous decisions in similar cases, all lower courts should make decisions consistent with previous decisions of higher courts.
For example, in England, the High Court and the Court of Appeal are each bound by their own previous decisions, but the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom is able to deviate from its earlier decisions, although in practice it does so. Speaking, higher courts do not have direct oversight over the lower courts of record, in that they cannot reach out on their own initiative at any time to overrule judgments of the lower courts; the burden rests with litigants to appeal rulings to the higher courts. If a judge acts against precedent and the case is not appealed, the decision will stand. A lower court may not rule against a binding precedent if it feels that it is unjust. If the court believes that developments or trends in legal reasoning render the precedent unhelpful, wishes to evade it and help the law evolve, it may either hold that the precedent is inconsistent with subsequent authority, or that it should be distinguished by some material difference between the facts of the cases. If that judgment goes to appeal, the appellate court will have the opportunity to review both the precedent and the case under appeal overruling the previous case law by setting a new precedent of higher authority.
This may happen several times. Lord Denning, first of the High Court of Justice of the Court of Appeal, provided a famous example of this evolutionary process in his development of the concept of estoppel starting in the High Trees case: Central London Property Trust Ltd v. High Trees House Ltd K. B. 130. The different roles of case law in civil and common law traditions create differences in the way that courts render decisions. Common law courts explain in detail the legal rationale behind their decisions, with citations of both legislation and previous relevant judgments, an exegesis of the wider legal principles; the necessary analysis constitutes a precedent binding on other courts. By contrast, decisions in civil law jurisdictions are very short, referring only to statutes; the reason for this difference is that these civil law jurisdictions adhere to a tradition that the reader should be able to deduce the logic from the decision and the statutes, so that, in some cases, it is somewhat difficult to apply previous decisions to the facts presented in future cases.
Some pluralist systems, such as Scots law in Scotland and so-called civil law jurisdictions in Quebec and Louisiana, do not fit into the dual "common-civil" law system classifications. Such systems may have been influenced by the Anglo-American common law tradition; because of their position between the two main systems of law, these types of legal systems are sometimes referred to as "mixed" systems of law. Law professors in common law traditions play a much smaller role in developing case law than professors in civil law traditions; because court decisions in civil law traditions are brief and not amenable to establishing precedent, much of the exposition of the law in civil law traditions is done by academics rather than by judges. Common law courts relied little on legal scholarship. Today academic writers are cited in legal argument and decisions as persuasive authority, thus common law systems are adopting one of the approaches long common in civil law jurisdictions. Judges may refer to various types of persuasive authority to reach a decision in a case.
Cited non-binding sources include legal encyclopedias such as Corpus Juris Secundum and Halsbury's Laws of England, or the published work of the Law Commission or the American Law Institute. Some bodies are given statu
Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution, is a way to resolve disputes outside the courts. The dispute will be decided by one or more persons, which renders the "arbitration award". An arbitration award is binding on both sides and enforceable in the courts. Arbitration is used for the resolution of commercial disputes in the context of international commercial transactions. In certain countries such as the United States, arbitration is frequently employed in consumer and employment matters, where arbitration may be mandated by the terms of employment or commercial contracts and may include a waiver of the right to bring a class action claim. Mandatory consumer and employment arbitration should be distinguished from consensual arbitration commercial arbitration. Arbitration can be either binding or non-binding. Non-binding arbitration is similar to mediation in. However, the principal distinction is that whereas a mediator will try to help the parties find a middle ground on which to compromise, the arbiter remains removed from the settlement process and will only give a determination of liability and, if appropriate, an indication of the quantum of damages payable.
By one definition arbitration is binding and non-binding arbitration is therefore technically not arbitration. Arbitration is a proceeding in which a dispute is resolved by an impartial adjudicator whose decision the parties to the dispute have agreed, or legislation has decreed, will be final and binding. There are limited rights of appeal of arbitration awards. Arbitration is not the same as: judicial proceedings, alternative dispute resolution, expert determination, mediation. Parties seek to resolve disputes through arbitration because of a number of perceived potential advantages over judicial proceedings. Companies require arbitration with their customers, but prefer the advantages of courts in disputes with competitors: In contrast to litigation, where one cannot "choose the judge", arbitration allows the parties to choose their own tribunal; this is useful when the subject matter of the dispute is technical: arbitrators with an appropriate degree of expertise can be chosen. Arbitration is faster than litigation in court.
Arbitral proceedings and an arbitral award are non-public, can be made confidential. In arbitral proceedings the language of arbitration may be chosen, whereas in judicial proceedings the official language of the country of the competent court will be automatically applied; because of the provisions of the New York Convention 1958, arbitration awards are easier to enforce in other nations than court verdicts. In most legal systems there are limited avenues for appeal of an arbitral award, sometimes an advantage because it limits the duration of the dispute and any associated liability; some of the disadvantages include: Arbitration agreements are sometimes contained in ancillary agreements, or in small print in other agreements, consumers and employees do not know in advance that they have agreed to mandatory binding pre-dispute arbitration by purchasing a product or taking a job. If the arbitration is mandatory and binding, the parties waive their rights to access the courts and to have a judge or jury decide the case.
If the arbitrator or the arbitration forum depends on the corporation for repeat business, there may be an inherent incentive to rule against the consumer or employee There are limited avenues for appeal, which means that an erroneous decision cannot be overturned. Although thought to be speedier, when there are multiple arbitrators on the panel, juggling their schedules for hearing dates in long cases can lead to delays. In some legal systems, arbitration awards have fewer enforcement options than judgments. Arbitrators are unable to enforce interlocutory measures against a party, making it easier for a party to take steps to avoid enforcement of member or a small group of members in arbitration due to increasing legal fees, without explaining to the members the adverse consequences of an unfavorable ruling. Discovery may be more limited in arbitration or nonexistent; the potential to generate billings by attorneys may be less than pursuing the dispute through trial. Unlike court judgments, arbitration awards themselves are not directly enforceable.
A party seeking to enforce an arbitration award must resort to judicial remedies, called an action to "confirm" an award. By their nature, the subject matter of some disputes is not capable of arbitration. In general, two groups of legal procedures cannot be subjected to arbitration: Procedures which lead to a determination which the parties to the dispute may not enter into an agreement upon: Some court procedures lead to judgments which bind all members of the general public, or public authorities in their capacity as such, or third parties, or wh
Supreme Court of the Netherlands
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands the High Council of the Netherlands, is the final court of appeal in civil and tax cases in the Netherlands, including Curaçao, Sint Maarten and Aruba. The Court is located in The Hague; the Supreme Court rules 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, the Central Appeals Tribunal, the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal 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 and the rulings have sufficient reasoning. 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 courts thus have no competence for judicial review with respect to the Constitution. The Supreme Court consists of 36 judges: a president, six vice presidents, twenty-five justices and four justices extraordinary. All judges are appointed for life, until they retire at their own request or mandatorily at the age of 70; the development of cassation in the Netherlands was 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. 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 signed a compulsory declaration about Aryans. After the liberation, people reproached the Court for a 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 missed; the Justices either felt they were not in a position to do so. This was demonstrated in a so-called "Test sentence", 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 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 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, the legal establishment acknowledged not it was not allowed to challenge "political" measures. "Political" in this case was. In Italy the Court of Appeal recognized the free authority of Mussolini and the judge's lack of authority to control it. 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, issued by or on behalf of the occupier." 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.
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. A crucial role in this affair was played by J. Donner, who became President of the Supreme Court in 1946. In the Netherlands a case is first heard by one of the ten district courts. Afterwards, either side may appeal to one of the four courts of appeal. Either party may file a cassation appeal to the Supreme Court. 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 ret