Cassation proceedings are unique and cannot be compared with proceedings before the Tax Division of the District Courts or Courts of Appeal. In tax proceedings a taxpayer is free to personally prepare and submit grounds for cassation. The (oral or written) arguing of the case before the Dutch Supreme Court is, however, reserved for members of the Bar.
New facts can no longer be brought to the fore in the cassation phase before the Dutch Supreme Court. The examination of witnesses and the submission of documents is therefore basically no longer possible. In the cassation documents it is possible to complain about the interpretation of the law by the Court of Appeal or about the violation of essential procedural rules.
Our firm has ample experience in conducting proceedings before the Dutch Supreme Court. Not just in preparing the written procedural documents (notice of (cross-)appeal, statement of defence, reply, rejoinder, and a reaction to the opinion of the Advocate General) but also in (orally or in writing) arguing a case before the Dutch Supreme Court.
After the ruling of the Court of Appeal the notice of appeal in cassation must be filed within six weeks. The said notice of appeal in cassation does not need to contain all the grounds yet. This way the time limit can at least be secured for the reservation of rights. If cassation proceedings are instituted then usually a cassation opinion is first drawn up. This opinion is discussed with the client and potentially with his tax consultant / authorised representative from the previous proceedings. In consultation it is then decided whether or not to draw up grounds for cassation.
Also in the light of the specialist nature of this ‘branch of sport’ it was decided in 2013 to establish the ‘Association of Cassation Specialists Tax Division’ (VCSB). Guido de Bont is fellow founder of this association and is also a board member.