What is Civiel Effect?
In the Netherlands, Civiel Effect is the requirement that you need to obtain in order to become a practicing lawyer, a public prosecutor or a judge. To become a public prosecutor or a judge, nationality requirements apply additionally.
As a PPLE students, Civiel Effect can be obtained by following the Civiel Effect programme offered by the Amsterdam Law School and thereby completing an abridged Bachelor's programme in Law, and then completing one of the qualifying UvA Master‘s programmes.
What is the Civiel Effect programme?
The Amsterdam Law School offers a Dutch-taught abridged Bachelor's programme to PPLE students who graduate with a Law Major: the so-called 'Civiel Effect programme'.
After successful completion, students will obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Law and are admissible to Dutch LLM (Master of Laws) programmes at the Amsterdam Law School:
- Fiscaal recht: Fiscaal recht
- Fiscaal recht: Internationaal en Europees belastingrecht
- Privaatrecht: Commerciële rechtspraktijk
- Privaatrecht: Privaatrechtelijke rechtspraktijk
- Publiekrecht: Staats- en bestuursrecht
- Publiekrecht: Strafrecht
After completing the Civiel Effect programme first, followed by one of the above-mentioned UvA Master’s programmes, PPLE graduates will fulfil the requirements for Civiel Effect.
Second Bachelor's degree
As alluded to earlier, the Civiel Effect programme is technically a second Bachelor's programme: Upon completion, students will receive a Bachelor’s degree in Law. Based on their PPLE programme with a major in Law, PPLE students receive a 120 EC exemption of the Bachelor’s programme in Law, leaving 60 EC to be completed in the form of the Civiel Effect programme.
Because the Civiel Effect programme is in fact a second Bachelor’s programme, students are advised to ideally start directly after their graduation from PPLE. If students let too much time pass between graduating from PPLE and enrolling for the Civiel Effect programme, they run the risk of having to pay the statutory tuition fees (which are much higher than the regular tuition fees). Therefore, please make sure to check your situation in the Enrolment Provisions.
Civiel Effect requirement in the PPLE Bachelor's thesis
One of the requirements for ultimately obtaining Civiel Effect is that at least 50% of the PPLE Bachelor's thesis needs to focus on doctrinal legal analysis. For all the requirements and an overview of the Civiel Effect programme, click here.
As of 2021-2022, students who wish to enroll in the Civiel Effect programme should request a statement from the PPLE Examinations Board. This statement should mention that:
(i) The first supervisor of the thesis has a law degree;
(ii) The supervisor has stated that at least 50% of the thesis addresses a legal question (as specified in the criteria of the Amsterdam Law School Examinations Board).
Students without this statement who wish to enroll in the Civiel Effect programme need to write a 6 EC Bachelor’s thesis within the regular Bachelor of Law at the Amsterdam Law School. This Bachelor’s thesis should focus on doctrinal analysis of a topic central to the Dutch private or public law courses in the Civiel Effect programme.
It is not possible to meet the Civiel Effect requirement for the PPLE Bachelor's thesis by making changes in the thesis at a later stage, say, by adding a substantial doctrinal analysis to your thesis after completion of the thesis (after graduating from PPLE). If you have not written a PPLE Bachelor's thesis that meets the requirements, but decide that you want to obtain Civiel Effect, you will need to write a 6 EC Bachelor's thesis in the regular Law Bachelor's programme.
PPLE Law Major students who do not want to obtain Civiel Effect do not have to focus 50% of their Bachelor's thesis on doctrinal analysis and can, for instance, focus mainly on legal theory or socio-legal studies.
English-taught Law Masters without Civiel Effect
PPLE graduates with a major in Law are admissible to a number of English-taught Master's programmes at the Amsterdam Law School without Civiel Effect. PPLE students can apply directly to the programmes in:
- European Private Law
- International and European Law: European Union Law
- International and European Law: European Competition Law and Regulation
- International and European Law: Public International Law
- International and European Law: International Trade and Investment Law
Please note that no Dutch Civiel Effect can be granted to graduate degrees from LLM programmes without completion of the Civiel Effect programme and a Master's in Dutch law.
Selective LLM programmes
The Amsterdam Law School also offers selective LLM programmes in
- International Criminal Law
- International and Transnational Criminal Law
- Information Law (‘Informatierecht’, Dutch taught)
- Law & Finance.
PPLE students with a major in Law are welcome to participate in the selection process for these programmes.
I am a third year Law major student who wants to obtain Civiel Effect. What do I need to do with regard to my PPLE Bachelor's thesis?
You need to inform your law supervisor that you want to obtain Civiel Effect. Law supervisors know the requirements regarding 50% doctrinal analysis in the Bachelor's thesis and will supervise you accordingly.
Should I check whether my law supervisor has a law degree?
No, this will not be necessary. Law supervisors with a law degree will supervise you.
Can I take Civiel Effect courses during PPLE already?
It sometimes occurs that students take Civiel Effect courses already during their studies at PPLE. However, be aware that if you take courses from the Civiel Effect programme during PPLE and use these as electives, you later need to replace these courses during the Civiel Effect programme. Then you can choose alternative courses from a limited list of courses available as part of the Civiel Effect programme.
If the Civiel Effects courses you took during PPLE are listed as extracurricular courses, you don't need to replace them.
Further information & Contact
For all further information, such as the admission requirements, the application procedure, and deadlines, please consult the Amsterdam Law School's information about the 'Civiel Effect programme'. As the 'Civiel Effect programme' is taught in Dutch, the webpage with specific information, admission requirements etc. is also in Dutch.
Please contact Niall Houffelaar, Study Adviser of the Amsterdam Law School, if you have further questions.