If you are an entrepreneur in the Netherlands in a dispute with another entrepreneur, a consumer, a current or former employee or tenant, you have the option of taking the dispute to court. Other options are arbitration, binding advice and mediation. These are forms of conflict resolution outside the ordinary courts.
By including a dispute resolution clause in your contract, you can mutually agree that any conflicts will be brought before the Netherlands Arbitration Institute (NAI) for arbitration, binding advice or mediation, in accordance with a procedure laid down in advance and known to all parties. Such a stipulation can be included in national and international contracts.
Mediation to be expanded
The Dutch government wants to promote out-of-court settlements. Mediation can have a positive effect on settlements in court cases, which is why under the new budget the use of mediation in court cases is due to be expanded in criminal law, both with or without intervention by a mediator.
This measure is, of course, subject to its passing through the upper and lower houses of parliament. No date has been set for its proposed introduction.