Six weeks after its establishment, the Netherlands Commercial Court (NCC) held its first hearing on 18 February in the case Elavon Financial Services DAC v. IPS Holding B.V. and others within summary proceedings. The application was filed on 11 February and the NCC set the hearing dates only one week later.
The NCC is a specialized chamber of the Amsterdam District Court, established on 1 January 2019. It has jurisdiction in international civil and commercial disputes, on the basis of a choice of court agreement. The entire proceedings are in English, including the pronouncement of the judgment. Judges have been selected from the Netherlands on the basis of their extensive experience with international commercial cases and English language skills. The Netherlands Commercial Court of Appeal (NCCA) complements the NCC on appeal. More info on the NCC on the website of the Dutch judiciary.
Other EU Member States have established or are about to establish international commercial courts, with the aim of attracting high-value commercial disputes, also in light of the possible impact that Brexit might have on enforcement of English judgments in Europe.
In France, for example, February 7, 2018 the French Minister of Justice inaugurated the International Commercial Chamber within the Paris Court of Appeals. This division will handle disputes arising from international commercial contracts. Appeals against decisions of the International Chamber of the Paris Commercial Court might be lodged before a specialized division and thus complements this court on a second instance.
In Belgium, in October 2017, the Belgian Minister of Justice announced the government’s initiative to establish a specialized court in commercial matters, called the Brussels International Business Court (BIBC).
Similar initiatives in Europe are the ‘Frankfurt Justice Initiative’ (more info).