Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
The Common Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, and of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (Dutch: Gemeenschappelijk Hof van Justitie van Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten en van Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba) serves the three Caribbean countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten, and the three special municipalities of the Netherlands, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba. The court primarily hears appeals from lower courts on these six islands, and is on the same level as similar courts in the Netherlands. Since 2012, the court has also been authorized to hear inquiry procedures originated on Curaçao, of a type that would be heard in the Netherlands by the Enterprise Chamber in Amsterdam.
The Court has seats in courthouses located on Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten, and also is authorized to hold sessions on Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. Until 2010, it was called the Common Court of Justice of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.
The court is composed of judges from the first level of courts. Judges that took part in at case at the lower level may not participate in a case at this level.
Right of Appeal
The Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands specified that appeals of first-level courts must be regulated. That law is the declaration of 20 July 1961, Stb. 1961, 212, titled the "Cassatieregeling Nederlandse Antillen" ("Appeals Regulations of the Netherlands Antilles"), later renamed "Cassatieregeling Nederlandse Antillen en Aruba". This law fixed that the High Council of the Netherlands recognizes the jurisdiction of the Combined Appeals Court of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba over civil and criminal cases which were initiated in the first-level courts within those territories.
One distinction between the appeals procedure in the Netherlands and that of the Caribbean territories is that when a judgment of a Netherlands court is overturned by the Supreme Court, the case is generally remanded to a different court at the lower level for purposes of rendering a new decision. Because the Common Court is the only court at its level, it will rehear its own cases after being overruled.