Dutch arbitration proceedings are practical, informal, effective and less voluminous -and therefore faster and significantly less expensive- than in common law or Anglo-American justice systems. No lengthy hearings, no costly ‘disclosure’/‘discovery’ proceedings or ‘cross examinations’. The arbitrator plays an active role.
To further ensure speedy proceedings, if fundamental requirements for due process haven not been met, an arbitral award may only be challenged in exceptional circumstances on formalities, not on the subject of law. Similarly challenges of arbitral awards are brought directly before the Court of Appeal (not before the District Court).
The revision of the Dutch Arbitration Act effective since 1 January 2015 aims to make The Netherlands more attractive to international arbitration allowing for instance the use of modern electronic means.
There are many specialized arbitration institutes in the Netherlands.
Enforcement of Dutch arbitral awards
The Netherlands is party to the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York, 1958) (the ‘New York Convention’). Dutch arbitral awards can therefore be enforced almost worldwide.
Mediation grows in popularity; The Netherlands offers plenty of possibilities. The Dutch national standard-setting and quality assurance platform for the practice of mediation in The Netherlands is the Mediators Federation Netherlands (‘MfN’)