Lodging an appeal
with the
Supreme Court

Appeal to the Supreme Court

Do you not agree with the ruling of the court? In some cases, you may appeal to the Supreme Court. To do this, you require a specialist Supreme Court lawyer. SmeetsGijbels deals with family and inheritance law appeals to the Supreme Court.

Proceedings in the Supreme Court are different to those in the court of first instance and the appeal court, and are intended to promote legal unity, the development of law, and the safeguarding of legal rights. The appeal court only assesses whether the lower courts have correctly applied the legal rules and whether the ruling meets the relevant justification requirements. In doing so, the appeal court is bound to accept the facts as established in the lower court. Because of this limited assessment framework, the options for taking a case to the Supreme Court are generally limited.

The period within which an appeal to the Supreme Court must be lodged is three months in most cases, but is sometimes much shorter. It is not possible to introduce fresh grounds when lodging an appeal with the Supreme Court. For this reason, it is a good idea to contact a Supreme Court lawyer as soon as possible after receipt of a ruling.

Using the records of the court proceedings, the lawyer will give written advice on taking the case to the Supreme Court, examining the various options, including the risks associated with the possibility of the opposing party also appealing to the Supreme Court. If the advice is positive, an appeal may be lodged with the Supreme Court. The procedure is generally entirely in writing and takes an average of one year. If the appeal is upheld, the Supreme Court either deals with the case itself or refers it to another court. That other court will then have to rule on the case again, taking into account the decision by the Supreme Court.


If your opposing party has lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court, you will receive a copy from the Supreme Court. In cases that you are defending, too, it is a good idea to request advice on how promising the appeal is likely to be, whether it makes sense to put up a defence, or whether there are options for an incidental appeal.

Anticipating an appeal to the Supreme Court?

Even during the initial appeal, it is wise to seek the advice from a Supreme Court lawyer in order to maximise your chances of any subsequent Supreme Court appeal, or indeed to minimise the likelihood of success of the opposing party.

Care to know more?

Family and inheritance law are sensitive subjects that often involve strong emotions. Matters that once seemed routine can take on a new significance as a result of all kinds of events, causing a breakdown in communications and thrusting the parties involved into far-reaching and invasive legal proceedings. SmeetsGijbels advises its clients on what route to take. We do so with empathy and support, adding our specialist legal knowledge as necessary.

Care to know more? Our lawyers and mediators are ready to help you. Obviously, we guarantee complete confidentiality.

Appeal to the Supreme Court

Find out more about our Supreme Court lawyer, Katrien van Stratum. She can advise you on what decisions to take.