Country report, gender equality. How are EU rules transposed into national law? : Netherlands 2019

European Union Publications Office
Publication date:


The Netherlands is a civil-law country. Its laws are written. The role of case law is small in theory, but in practice it is impossible to understand the law in many fields without taking into account the relevant case law. The primary law-making body is formed by the Dutch Parliament in cooperation with the Government. When operating jointly to create laws, they are commonly referred to as the legislature. The Dutch court system consists of various types of courts. At first instance, judgments are rendered by what are simply called ‘the courts’ (the ordinary courts). Appeals arising from the judgments of the (ordinary) courts can be brought before the appeal courts. At the top of the hierarchy is the Dutch Supreme Court (Hoge Raad). Within the courts a distinction is made between criminal law, civil law and administrative law. In addition, there are specific courts for administrative cases on appeal from the ordinary courts. These courts are the Central Appeals Tribunal (Centrale Raad van Beroep) and the Council of State, Administrative Jurisdiction Division (Raad van State, Afdeling Bestuursrechtspraak).

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