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Strategic late submission of court documents needs to be curbed

There’s a trend going around within administrative law: submitting court documents late to make things as difficult as possible for the opposing party. As Mr. magazine reports, Tom Barkhuysen, Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law and partner in administrative law at Stibbe, argues in the Netherlands Law Journal (NJB) that to counter this trend, the deadlines stipulated under the Dutch General Administrative Law Act (Awb) need to be adjusted.

Filing court documents as close to a verbal hearing as possible not only makes it difficult for the opposing party to adequately respond to complex matters – it can also prevent them from properly preparing for the hearing.

Professor Barkhuysen explains that ‘it doesn’t suit the parties’ to try to sideline each other in this way. Stricter enforcement of a better process of law is a step in the right direction, but more is needed. He continues: ‘Consideration could be given to adjusting the ten-day deadline stipulated in Section 8:58(1) of the Awb for further documents to six weeks before the hearing, after which the opposing party would have up to four weeks before the hearing to respond.’ This could promote fairer administrative law practices.

More information

Read the full article in Mr. magazine (in Dutch)

Photo: Towfiqu Barbuiya through Unsplash

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