The Dutch Supreme Court
In litigation one can always expect a lot of wrangling and he-said-she-said. To further clarify the case, the court may order the hearing of witnesses. One of the characteristics of such a hearing is the spontaneity. To obtain the answers as unrehearsed as possible, the hearing will take place ‘spontaneously’ before the judge. The Dutch Supreme Court has now determined that it is permitted, from the perspective of procedural economy, to have the hearing take place on the basis of a pre-written statement. In this particular case of December 23 it would otherwise have taken excessively long to hear all of the six witnesses. It is, however, important that the court accordingly takes into account the fact that these written statements may cause a reduced reliability when assessing the evidence.