Since October 2014 The Rotterdam Court has been publishing English summaries of rulings issued by its Maritime Chamber. The Maritime Chamber deals with cases in the field of maritime law, transport law and international trade and because of their international nature, these cases are often also interesting for parties unable to understand Dutch. By providing summaries in English the Court enables foreign companies, lawyers and researchers to keep in touch with relevant developments in Dutch case law.
As of 1 January 2016, the Rotterdam Court even goes a step further. There will be a pilot project allowing parties to conduct proceedings before the Maritime Chamber in English. In order to avail themselves of this opportunity, all parties to the proceedings must have agreed in writing to the "Procedure Rules when opting to conduct legal proceedings in English". After the Court has approved of this request for application of these Rules, the working language for all procedural documents shall be in English. At hearings and in correspondence with the Court, the working language shall also be English. Application of these Procedure Rules shall in no way affect the Court’s application of Dutch procedural law. The National Procedural Regulations remain in force insofar as they are not deviated from in these Procedure Rules.
The pilot project will last one and a half years. The Rotterdam Court hopes to address the needs existing in international trade. This development may lead to an increase of international maritime cases being submitted to the Rotterdam Court.