Only condemnatory judgments are allowed

As far as the form and the content of a decision in summary proceedings is concerned, the judge has great latitude in reaching a decision. A guiding principle for the judge will always be a policy of not going beyond what might be necessary or well-balanced as far as the decision in the procedure on the merits is concerned. In principle, however, the judge may order any measure provided that the measure serves to safeguard a right or a legally recognized interest.

Legal literature is of the opinion that in summary proceedings only condemnatory judgments should be allowed, since these judgments can be executed in all cases. It is generally accepted that a merely declaratory judgment – in which execution is not threatened – should not be delivered in summary proceedings; in a few cases, however, judges have not hesitated in reaching such decisions. Constitutive judgments, like a judgment to avoid a contract or to nullify a will, are considered incompatible with summary proceedings. The judge may not alter a legal relationship between parties in a definitive way. He may, however, decide to suspend the rights and duties derived from the legal relationship of the parties or order the lifting of an attachment.

Karel Frielink / Ursus van Bemmelen
Netherlands Caribbean Attorneys / Lawyers


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