Núm. 1 (2022): Small Claims

The EU small claims procedures in the Netherlands - some good and some bad news

Fokke Fernhout
Associate professor of law, Maastricht University, Maastricht (the Netherlands); attorney at law at the Dutch Supreme Court

Publicado 2022-02-21

Palabras clave

  • Small Claims Procedure,
  • Netherlands,
  • Issues in Practice,
  • Statistics,
  • Non-Intended Usage

Cómo citar

Fernhout, F. (2022). The EU small claims procedures in the Netherlands - some good and some bad news. Revista Ítalo-española De Derecho Procesal, (1), 51–72. https://doi.org/10.37417/rivitsproc/680


The EU Small Claims Procedure (henceforth: ESCP) has been implemented in the Netherlands by a separate statute, that entered into force on 10 June 2009. This Dutch Small Claims Act (henceforth: SCA) has been amended in 2017 as a result of the changes in the ESCP of 2017. About the initial implementation of the SCA has been reported in 2013. This contribution will focus on the situation since the amendments of 2017, obviously taking into account earlier developments that still determine the workings of the ESCP.

First, the framework of civil litigation in the Netherlands will be described. Second, the implementation of the ESCP will be discussed and explained. The main part will be devoted to the workings of the ESCP in practice, including an analysis of the way the ESCP is used (and maybe abused). The conclusion will be that in less than 3 % of the cases the ESCP is used in conformity with its objectives, but that legal practice profits from its aspects that help to avoid the workings of other European instruments, especially the EU Service Regulation.


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