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Reading: Past and Future for Management of Courts


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Past and Future for Management of Courts


Bert Maan


This article is written from the perspective of a court president in The Netherlands, a so called civil law country. In theory, in a civil law country, judges and lawyers in civil and commercial cases base their actions on the application of the law and its interpretation. Moreover, in criminal matters, the courts use inquisitorial procedures which differ from the adversarial procedures used in common law countries. The field of court management is not highly developed because of the tension between the need for judicial independence and judicial organization. There are many examples of this tension, including the fact that courts may be subject to budgetary limits which themselves may intrude upon judicial independence. For instance, suppose that a judge believes it necessary to appoint an expert to answer a certain scientific question, but the expert is expensive and budgetary considerations preclude the appointment. When I was involved in the process of the budgets of prosecutors’ offices and courts, this question frequently arose. In an effort to deal with this problem, part of the courts’ budgets were treated as open-ended even though courts rarely spent these open-ended budgets lavishly.

How to Cite: Maan, B., 2009. Past and Future for Management of Courts. International Journal for Court Administration, 2(1), pp.22–29. DOI:
Published on 15 Aug 2009.
Peer Reviewed


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