Posted on: 13-04-2020

Maritime Chamber

Written by:

Hein Kernkamp

The maritime chamber as part of the judiciary in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is set up for professional, reliable, quick and effective settlement of disputes. The recent introduction of the Netherlands Commercial Court, where English language litigation is the standard, is just a small step that builds on a long tradition, in which parties, lawyers and judges involved in resolving shipping and trade disputes have built up years of high-quality dispute resolution, which is part of the international top.

maritime chamber of the court of Rotterdam

What is the maritime chamber of the Rotterdam District Court?

The maritime chamber of the Rotterdam District Court is part of the trade and port team and handles civil cases in the fields of maritime law, inland shipping law and transport law. The court of Rotterdam has exclusive jurisdiction within the Netherlands for handling shipping matters.

In addition, parties who deal with transport and logistics often opt for the jurisdiction of the Rotterdam court in their contracts because of the specific expertise of the judges in the field of transport law and international contracts. As a result, the court of Rotterdam handles a large number of international trade and transport cases every year.

Rule of Law Index

The Dutch judiciary scores high in the international Rule of Law Index year after year. In addition to the nationally applicable professional standards, the maritime chamber of the Rotterdam District Court has taken a number of additional measures aimed at guaranteeing the quality of the handling of shipping cases:

The judge has knowledge of maritime practice

Parties can count on the hearing judge not only having the requirement
legal expertise to handle maritime affairs, but they also know the maritime practice.

If the nature of the case so requires, the hearing will take place in the short term

In case of immediate urgency, for example in case of a very urgent emergency summary relief proceedings or hearing of
witnesses, this interest is taken into account. The court is also flexible with regard to practical requests from parties.

One third of maritime cases are treated by a team of three judges

In the Netherlands, a lot of cases are dealt with by one judge. The maritime chamber more often opts to have a case heard by three judges, which will in any case be done if a new doctrine needs to be formulated.

The judge discusses the expected course of the procedure with the parties.

Maritime cases often lead to complex procedures, where it is important that an appropriate process order is determined without surprises, in consultation with the parties. This means that customization can be provided.

In judgments, the judge is visibly in line with treaties, legislation and case law.

This makes decisions more predictable and internationally explainable.

All decisions in maritime and transport law matters are published.

Decisions of the maritime chamber of the District Court of Rotterdam are published on rechtspraak.nl and in trade magazines, such as the monthly case law magazine Schip en Schade.

A summary of part of the decisions is published in English.

A choice of decisions will be published in English. In any case, an English summary will be made of decisions on the interpretation and application of international conventions.

Lawyer with industry knowledge

Just as the court focuses on the needs of the market, the lawyers of Minerva Advocaten do the same. Our lawyers have extensive and years of experience in all areas of transport law, combined with the specific knowledge of this specific industry.

Call us today with your question

Is there a problem in the port of Rotterdam or elsewhere in the world that requires swift action? Do you need specific legal advice? Contact us Submit your question to us without obligation. We like to help you. It is not without reason that our motto is: "Your problem, our concern."

More information?

Hein Kernkamp will gladly help you further.

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