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Netherlands

Constitution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands of August 24, 1815

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Netherlands

Year of current version:2002
Date of Text (Adopted):August 24, 1815
Type of Text:Constitution / Basic Law
Subject Matter:Other
Notes:
The Constitution of the Netherlands, which is the supreme and fundamental law of the European nation, was adopted in 1815. On October 11, 1848, the 1815 Constitution was significantly revised, which instituted a system of parliamentary democracy. Since then, it has been amended several times, most recently in 2002. The Constitution recognizes the basic fundamental rights of citizens and social rights that were added to the Constitution by the constitutional reform of 1983.

The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. The Constitution determines how the powers are divided between the Government, the Parliament (the State General) and the other institutions of the State.
The Government includes the monarch (currently Queen Beatrice), who is the Head of State and the ministers and the State Secretaries. The Parliament is composed of two houses: the House of Representatives which has 150 members elected directly by the people and holds the power to propose legislation; the Senate has 75 members indirectly elected and holds only a power of veto in the legislative process.
The judicial system consists of the District Courts, Courts of Appeal, Special Tribunals and Supreme Courts. The Netherlands’ legal system is based on the French Civil Code with influences from Roman law and traditional Dutch customary law. The Constitution does not permit judicial review of acts of the Parliament (the State General).

The Constitution does not contain provisions concerning intellectual property rights. However, Article 14 guarantees the right to property.
Available Texts: 
Dutch

Grondwet voor het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden van 24 augustus 1815 Grondwet voor het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden van 24 augustus 1815, Complete document (pdf) [367 KB]

English

Constitution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands of August 24, 1815 Constitution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands of August 24, 1815, Complete document (pdf) [157 KB] Constitution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands of August 24, 1815, Complete document (htm) [143 KB] (Version with Automatic Translation Tool)

WIPO Lex No.:NL053

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