Cabinet approves simplification of administrative justice system

The number of specialist courts hearing administrative cases in the highest instance will be reduced from three to one in order to simplify the administrative justice system. In addition, a strict division will be established between the Council of State’s advisory and judicial functions.

Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk and Minister of Security and Justice Ard van der Steur submitted a bill to this effect, which has been approved by the cabinet. The measures were first set out in the government’s coalition agreement.

The administrative justice system will be simplified by abolishing the Central Appeals Court for Public Service and Social Security Matters. In future, the cases now brought before this specialist tribunal will be handled by the four courts of appeal that currently hear criminal and civil cases. The Administrative Court for Trade and Industry will also be abolished and its cases assigned to the existing Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State.

In addition, a stricter division will be made between the Council of State’s advisory and judicial functions. This will involve, for example, ending the practice of dual appointment: Council of State judges will no longer perform an advisory role.

The cabinet has decided to submit the bill to the Council of State for advice. The text of the bill and the Council’s advisory opinion will be made public when they are presented to the House of Representatives.