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Most legal proceedings begin in a district court (rechtbank). There are 11 district courts in the Netherlands.
Each court is made up of several divisions:
A party who does not accept the district court's judgment can appeal. Criminal and civil cases are heard by one of the four courts of appeal (gerechtshoven). In administrative cases, depending on the subject the appeal may be heard by:
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands is the highest court in the Netherlands in civil, criminal and tax law. The Supreme Court can overturn judgments, in particular those of the appeal courts (whose judgments can be challenged in the Supreme Court on points of law, a process known as cassatie). The Supreme Court is also responsible for ensuring legal uniformity and the development of Dutch law.
More information on how the judicial system is organised can be found on the rechtspraak.nl website.
The courts publish a large part of the rulings handed down. These decisions and judgments are made available to the public through inclusion in the database on the rechtspraak.nl website.
Yes, access is free of charge.
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