Bommel van der Bend and Kirstin Nijburg have contributed the
Netherlands chapter to The European Arbitration Review 2017,
published by Global Arbitration Review.
This article discusses main features of arbitral legal framework
in the Netherlands under the revised Dutch Arbitration Act
complemented by analysis of main arbitration developments.
In the Netherlands, arbitration has traditionally been the most
important form of dispute resolution along with court litigation,
particularly for the resolution of construction or trade disputes.
Such disputes are usually brought before the Netherlands
Arbitration Institute (NAI) or the Arbitration Board for the
Building Industry. The Netherlands is also renowned for the
arbitration of international disputes. There are many reasons why
the Netherlands is an attractive seat for international
arbitrations: as the host state of many international courts and
tribunals – including the International Court of Justice, the
Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Criminal
Court, as well as many specialised arbitration institutions –
the Netherlands offers a favourable legal and logistical
environment for accommodating, administering and conducting
international arbitral proceedings. The city of The Hague is to
have a new hearing centre, which will be located across from the
Peace Palace. A much-welcomed added benefit of seating arbitral
proceedings in the Netherlands is that it has cost advantages over
more expensive venues such as Paris and London.
Another important factor is that the Dutch legislature and the
judiciary have a favourable attitude towards arbitration. Dutch
arbitration law affords the parties considerable freedom to
determine the rules of procedure, and the state courts take a
liberal approach to arbitration. The state courts do act as a
safety net if issues arise that parties or arbitrators are unable
to resolve, yet without interfering excessively in the arbitral
process. They will decline jurisdiction if a party invokes an
arbitration agreement before putting forward other defences, and if
the arbitration agreement is valid and applicable to the subject
matter in dispute.
On 1 January 2015, a revised Arbitration Act entered into force
in the Netherlands. The revision was aimed at further enhancing the
efficiency and flexibility of the arbitral process by avoiding
delays through state court proceedings, reducing the administrative
burden and maximising party autonomy. The main features of the
legal framework for arbitration in the Netherlands under the
revised Dutch Arbitration Act will be discussed in this chapter.
Subsequently, the most recent arbitration developments in the
Netherlands will be addressed.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
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