Civil procedural law provides the rules for conducting civil proceedings. Evidence law in the Netherlands is an important part of this. It regulates when and how parties in a civil procedure may or must provide evidence of the facts stated by the parties in support of their claim or defense. Evidence law in the Netherlands also contains rules about the various means of evidence and the appreciation that the judge may assign to the evidence provided.


The bill Act of 6 March 2024 amending the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure and some other laws in connection with the simplification and modernization of evidence law (Simplification and Modernization of Evidence Law Act) amends the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure and some other laws to expand the possibilities for to simplify and improve the collection of relevant information and evidence in the phase prior to and during the civil procedure.


This bill modernizes the law of evidence in civil proceedings and makes it more efficient and effective. This builds on the procedural innovations introduced with the Act of 2 July 2019, which amended the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure in connection with the expansion of the possibilities for oral proceedings in civil procedural law (Stb. 2019, 241). The proposal supplements the obligation of truth and completeness, placing more emphasis on information gathering and evidence collection prior to the procedure. In addition, the role of the judge in establishing the truth is clarified. This gives him the authority to discuss the factual basis of their claim, request or defense with the parties within the limits of the legal dispute. Finally, the right of inspection is included in the legal regulation of evidence, the provisional evidence transactions are combined into one request, the official report of findings is added as evidence and the proposal provides for the possibility of levying a precautionary seizure of evidence.


These procedural changes offer the judge more room to take control and expand the possibilities for the oral hearing. The basic principle is that the judge can make a ruling after the oral hearing. This requires that all necessary information about the parties' case is available to the judge as much as possible at the end of the oral hearing. The Simplification and Modernization of Evidence Law Act was published on 22th of March 2024 in the Official Gazette and will come into effect on 1st of January 2025.

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