Costs

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This page provides you with information about judicial costs in the Netherlands.

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Regulatory framework governing the fees of legal professions

With the exception of fees payable to those offering subsidised legal aid, fees in the Netherlands are not regulated.

Fixed costs

Fixed costs for litigants in civil proceedings

The Civil Court Fees Act provides that parties in civil cases are obliged to pay court fees. Court fees are the costs you have to pay to the court registry (secretariat) at the start of your proceedings.

Fixed costs for litigants in criminal proceedings

There are no fixed costs for litigants pertaining to criminal proceedings under Dutch criminal law. There is no court registry fee in criminal law.

Fixed costs for litigants in constitutional proceedings

Under the Dutch legal system, there are no legal provisions to hear constitutional proceedings before the court.

Stage of the civil proceeding where fixed costs for litigants must be paid

In civil proceedings, a lump sum should be paid by each claimant and defendant. The court registry fee is payable by the claimant as soon as it is known that a case will be brought before the court. The defendant is liable to pay the court fee after he has appeared before the court.

Stage of the criminal proceeding where fixed costs for litigants must be paid

There is no court registry fee in criminal law.

Prior information to be provided by legal representatives

Rights and obligations of the parties

The Dutch legislation does not say anything about this. However, the rights and obligations can be derived from the 2018 Code of Conduct. For more information, please consult the website of the Dutch Bar Association. See in particular the rules on the relationship of the lawyer to the client. See also the Code of Conduct for European Lawyers. That code of conduct states that the lawyer must at all times endeavour to find a solution to the client’s dispute, adapted to the importance of the case. It should also explicitly advise the client at the appropriate time on the desirability of reaching a settlement or recourse to alternative solutions to bring the dispute to an end. If the client qualifies for free legal aid or at a reduced rate, the lawyer is obliged to inform him accordingly.

Costs to be involved being borne by the winning party

In civil cases, the winning party can incur the following costs:

  • legal aid (e.g. lawyers’ fees),
  • remuneration or compensation of witnesses or experts,
  • travel and accommodation expenses and
  • other legal and non-legal expenses.

Costs to be involved being borne by the losing party

The losing party can incur the same costs as the winning party, but can also be convicted by the judge to bear the costs incurred by the winning party.

Costs sources

Where can I find information on cost sources in the Netherlands?

Information on procedural costs can be found on the Court’s website. On this page of the Judiciary, you can find more information on the costs of a court case. You can also find information on procedural costs on the website of the Legal Service.

In what languages can I obtain information on cost sources in the Netherlands?

Information on cost sources in the Netherlands can only be obtained in Dutch.

Where can I find information on mediation?

Information on mediation can be found on the Courts’ website and on the website of the Legal Service. Information is also available on the website of Mediatorsfederatie Nederland and the website of the Legal Aid Council.

Where can I find additional information on costs?

Available website on cost information

The Civil Court Fees Act and other Dutch legislation can be consulted, inter alia, on the website of the Dutch government.

Where can I find information on the average length of time different procedures take?

The annual report of the Council for the Judiciary includes figures on the length of time taken to complete proceedings. The report is available online on the Court’s website.

Value-added tax

How is this information provided?

Where information on costs is published, figures given are exclusive of VAT (where applicable).

What are the applicable rates?

The general VAT rate for goods and services is 21 %.

Legal aid

Applicable income threshold in the area of civil justice

If you cannot (fully) pay the costs for a lawyer or mediator, you may be eligible for subsidised legal aid under certain conditions.

Legal aid is granted only to a person whose annual income is EUR 27,300 (for single persons) or less or EUR 38,600 (for married persons, cohabitants or single-parent family with a minor child) or less. Legal aid shall not be granted to a person who has assets in excess of the tax-free assets. See Article 12 and Article 34 of the Legal Aid Act (Wrb).

Applicable income threshold in the area of criminal justice for defendants

Legal aid is free of charge when a legal representative has been added by the court (see Article 43 of the Wrb). In other cases, the Legal Aid Board may add a lawyer to persons who can be assisted by a counsellor under the Penal Code or the Code of Criminal Procedure (Article 44 Wrb). Under Article 35 of the Wrb, the litigant is liable to pay his own income-related contribution if legal aid is granted on the basis of addition.

Applicable income threshold in the area of criminal justice for victims

Article 44 of the Wrb provides that legal aid to a victim of a crime against morals or violent crime is free of charge, irrespective of the victim’s ability to pay. It should also be noted that the case in question must be prosecuted and the victim is entitled to a benefit in accordance with Article 3 of the Violent Offences Compensation Fund Act.

No obligation

The defendants and defendants are not obliged to call on a lawyer in cases before a cantonal judge or a rental and rental chamber. However, in all other civil proceedings a lawyer must be involved, for example before the court or court.

When does the losing party have to pay the winning party’s costs?

The decision as to who is to bear the costs of the proceedings shall be taken by the court. A lump sum is used (the costs actually incurred are not taken as a starting point).

Experts fees

The remuneration of experts varies. You can find the correct amounts in the Decree of 16 August 2003 fixing fees as referred to in Articles 3, 4, 6, 7, 17 and 18 of theTariff in Criminal Matters Act (2003 Criminal Fees Decree).

Translators ‘and interpreters’ fees

The translation and interpretation allowances are as follows:

  • Interpreters will receive EUR 43,89 per hour for their work.
  • Translators will receive a fee per translated line. Translations from or into French, German and English are remunerated at a rate of EUR 0,79 per line. For other European languages, a rate of EUR 1,20 per line is charged. For other European languages and for many of the non-European languages, the rate is EUR 1,51 and for other non-European languages a rate of EUR 1,69 per line.

For more information on the reimbursement of translators and interpreters, please refer to the Criminal Fees Decree 2003.

Related links

TheDutch Mediators’ Federation

TheLegal Help Desk

The Judiciary

Costs of litigation

Law on Legal Aid

Law on tariffs in criminal matters

Decision on tariffs in criminal matters 2003

Last update: 24/11/2020

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