BASE Advocaten - The Litigation Firm

Article 843a Dutch Civil Procedure Code

Nieuws 15 March 2018
Alongside other legal tools for obtaining evidence under Dutch civil procedure law, article 843a Dutch Civil Procedure Code (''DCPC'') provides the legal basis for parties to claim exhibition of documents. According to article 843a section 1 DCPC a party that has a legitimate interest to do so may claim, at his expense, insight, copy, or extract of certain documents relating to a legal relationship in which he or his legal predecessors are party, of the person who has the respective documents in his possession, at his disposal or in his custody. The term "documents" in the sense of this article also includes data provided on a data carrier. An exhibition claim on basis of article 843a DCPC may be instigated in summary proceedings or in substantive proceedings. In any case, the party that claims exhibition of evidence must cumulatively demonstrate to the court:

  • that the documents of which surrender will be demanded are sufficiently specified and the exhibition claim will not result in a fishing expedition;
  • a substantiated legitimate interest in obtaining (copies of) these documents – this may for example be the case when surrender of the documents is required for a party to define its legal position;
  • that it is a party to a legal relationship to which the respective documents relate;
  • that the defendant is in possession of the respective documents or has the documents at its disposal or in its custody.


If these requirements are met, the exhibition claim on basis of article 843a DCPC must in principle be awarded. However, aside from arguing that the requirements of article 843a DCPC are not met, the defendant may also argue that it is not required to release the respective documents (1) on basis of weighty reasons or (2) in case it can be assumed that due process can be safeguarded without releasing the documents.

The Dutch Supreme Court held that article 843a DCPC can also serve as basis for conservatory attachment of evidence. Please click here  for more information on conservatory attachment of evidence under Dutch civil procedure law.

Our Corporate & Commercial Litigation department is highly expertized on matters regarding article 843a DCPC. In case of any questions in relation to this article, please contact Michiel de Vlieger or any of the other attorneys of our Corporate & Commercial Litigation department

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