curatele – deputyship for property & financial affairs and personal welfare The term curatele designates a legal measure to care for the personal welfare affairs of a person deemed not able to look after their own affairs. It extends further than bewind (property & financial affairs only) and mentorschap (personal welfare only).
arbeidsrechtbank – labour tribunal EU terminology – Belgium country compendium
arrondissementsrechtbank – district court EU terminology – Belgium country compendium
afdeling – division The afdeling is the category into which a court fall, e.g. criminal division, civil division, etc. For example, Afdeling: Civiel recht, could be translated as Civil law division.
arbeidshof – labour court EU terminology – Belgium country compendium
beroep – reliance on; (formal) complaint; appeal The term beroep needs some explanation. When used in proceedings where a party uses a legal concept to support his/her case, X doet beroep op… an appropriate translation is X relies on… The term beroep can also be used to designate a stage in a complaints process, whereby beroep (formal complaint) is the stage below hoger beroep (appeal).
beschikking – court order Document setting out the outcome of a decision made by a court.
bewind – property & financial affairs deputyship The term bewind designates a legal measure to care for the property & financial affairs of a person deemed not able to look after their own affairs.
besluit – decree Use ‘decree’ (preferred EU terminology) when referring to a statutory instrument.
Burgerlijk Wetboek – Civil Code
dagvaarding – writ of summons (UK); indictment (US) The document summonsing (note the ‘s’ in the middle) someone to appear at court based on charges. Proceedings are commenced by issuing an inleidende dagvaarding – initiating writ of summons.
eerste instantie – court of first instance A court in which any proceedings are initiated.
gerechtshof – appellate court Do not simply refer to this as ‘court’ as usually important to draw a distinction between the different courts. All cases at the appellate court are heard by a panel of three judges.
hoger beroep – appeal The term hoger beroep refers to appeal proceedings brought before an appellate court. The word hoger is added to distinguish hoger beroep (before an appellate court) from beroep, which in some instances is the way of making a formal complaint. For example, a college might have as its grievance policy 1. an informal complaint (klacht) 2. a formal complaint 3. beroep 4. hoger beroep.
inleidende dagvaarding – initiating writ of summons The document that starts legal proceedings.
instantie – court The word instantie could be translated as ‘instance’ as in ‘court of first instance’ (eerste instatie) or the court of second instance. Otherwise, instantie is best translated as ‘court’ in a general way to designate the type of court.
hof – appellate court The shortened form of gerechtshof. It is important not to simply refer to this as ‘court’ as it is usually vital to distinguish between the difference courts (rechtbank, gerechtshof, Hoge Raad, schiedsgerecht). All cases at the appellate court are heard by a panel of three judges.
Hoge Raad – Supreme Court The Supreme Court reviews decisions of lower courts, but only with regard to matters of law.
huurder – lessee; tenant My personal preference is for tenant. It makes it so much easier to read a text and easier to avoid silly mistakes between lessee and lessor.
inleidende dagvaarding – original writ of summons The majority of Dutch lawsuits are initiated by serving a writ of summons. In complex cases, there may be more than one dagvaarding issued, in which case the original dagvaarding is referred to as the Inleidende Dagvaarding [Original Writ of Summons].
koninklijk besluit – Royal Decree
mentor – personal welfare deputyship Beware this false friend. This is not a mentor, but a personal welfare deputy appointed to look after the personal welfare affairs of someone deemed not able to look after their own affairs.
petitum – relief sought
procedure – proceedings The word procedure is a false friend in Dutch legal terminology and should be translated as ‘proceedings’ (in the plural). Procedure relates to any type of proceedings (e.g. tribunal proceedings, appeal proceedings, etc.).
rechtbank – district court This lower court is usually referred to as the district court; if it was important to make a distinction and stress this court’s function, it could be called a court of first instance (eerste aanleg) (as opposed to the gerechtshof/hof (appellate court) or Hoge Raad (Supreme Court).
rechtsgebied – area of law; practice area If rechtsgebied is used to categorise a type of decision given by a court, then ‘area of law’ would be more appropriate; to categorise the area of law that a legal firm specialises in, then ‘practice area’ would be more appropriate.
verhuurder – lessor; landlord My personal preference is for landlord. It makes it so much easier to read a text and easier to avoid silly mistakes between lessee and lessor.
veroordelen – to rule against/to find against Terminology found in decisions/judgments. Example: … XYZ inmiddels door de Rechtbank in eerste aanleg is veroordeeld …The court of first instance has since found against XYZ….
verstek – default judgment If an action brought before the Rechtbank is not defended, the judge can pass a ruling in absentia (verstekvonnis). However, this verstekvonnis can be objected to (verstekprocedure). The parties are the opposanten [petitioner] and the geopposeerde [respondent].
vonnis – decision Even though dictionaries gives this as ‘judgment’, the better term is ‘decision’ as the vonnis/decision is passed by a lower court (rechtbank) and as such is appealable.
woonplaats kiezen – elect as the address for the service of documents dictionaries give ‘woonplaats’ as residence, which is correct in many contexts and some dictionaries give ‘elect domicile’ for ‘woonplaats kiezen’, but ‘electing domicile’ refers to electing where your main place of residence is for tax purposes. woonplaats kiezen is usually when a party chooses the office of their legal representative as the place where documents can be legally served. See also art. 39 BW [Wanneer de geadresseerde bij een lasthebber woonplaats heeft gekozen, mogen de betekening en de kennisgeving aan die woonplaats geschieden.]
zaak – case The generic term ‘case’ to designate specific proceedings, usually in a phrase like zaaknummer (case number).
zittingslocatie – venue The venue is where a rechtbank (district court) hears cases. For example, the Rechtbank Limburg could have its zittingsplaats in Roermond.