Streamlining pre-trial stage
Reviving summary proceedings aimed at obtaining provisional orders for payment
Adjustments to jurisdiction of magistrate's courts and district courts


On 15 July 2021, a reform of the New Code of Civil Procedure, which was long-awaited by Luxembourg litigators, was introduced (the new law).(1) The majority of the new law's provisions came into force on 16 September 2021.

This reform is intended to increase court proceedings' efficiency by:

  • simplifying certain procedural rules;
  • modernising the legal regime of certain types of proceedings; and
  • generally shortening the length of proceedings.

This article outlines the features of the reform that are deemed to have the most notable effect in practice.

Streamlining pre-trial stage

The new law has substantially modified the rules that apply to the pre-trial stage, which is the (crucial) stage of written proceedings during which the parties alternately file written conclusions and supporting pieces of evidence. The law aims to increase both the timeliness and effectiveness of this stage.

Means of defence relating to admissibility of claimant's action
Since the reform, means of defence that relate to the admissibility of the action or the court's jurisdiction must be raised in the defendant's first written conclusions, and it can only be the subject of a maximum of two written conclusions per party before the judge in charge of monitoring the pre-trial stage must rule on them.

Before the reform, such means of defence were often raised considerably later by the parties, and the judge would not necessarily rule on these means of defence first (ie, before ruling on the merits of the case). As such, certain proceedings could drag on for several years and they could generate heavy costs before finally resulting in an inadmissibility judgment.

Written conclusions
Since the reform, each party must file consolidated written conclusions (prior to the pre-trial stage's closing), which must recapitulate the claims and means raised in prior written conclusions (failing to do this means that the claims and means are considered as forfeited).

Before the reform, the judge would need to consider and analyse all of the written conclusions filed by a party during the pre-trial stage, and to consolidate each party's arguments by themselves, which, in complex cases, could be a difficult exercise and take a considerable amount of time.

Simplified pre-trail stage
The reform has introduced a "simplified" pre-trial stage for cases in which:

  • the dispute value is a maximum of €100,000; and
  • there is only one claimant and one defendant.

For other cases, the simplified pre-trial process must be requested by one of the parties and accepted by the court.

The following rules apply to a simplified pre-trial stage:

  • The submission of written conclusions is subject to fixed time limits – namely, a first time limit of three months for the defendant to file their first written conclusions in response to the claimant's writ of summons, followed by successive periods of one month for each party (in turn) to file further written conclusions. These time limits may be extended only once.
  • Each party is allowed to file only two written conclusions in total, unless the judge in charge of monitoring the pre-trial stage orders the production of additional written conclusions (either on their own initiative or at a party's request).

Before the reform, the judge in charge of monitoring the pre-trial stage would issue a trial schedule. However, in practice, it was easy for a party to obtain one deadline extension after another. Also, there were no fixed limits to the number of written conclusions that could be filed by a party.

Reviving summary proceedings aimed at obtaining provisional orders for payment

Before the reform, the New Code of Civil Procedure already provided for initiating summary proceedings (which are deemed to be faster than proceedings on the merits) to obtain a provisional order for payment in cases where a defendant's debt was not seriously disputable.

However, such summary proceedings were ineffective in practice due to the case law of the Court of Cassation, which has previously denied recourse to compulsory enforcement measures on the basis of summary orders.

The new law has revived such proceedings by specifically providing that enforcing summary orders may be pursued by way of enforcement measures (with the sole exception of seizures of real estate).

As a result, summary proceedings have once more become a viable option to recover a claim without having to initiate proceedings on the merits in cases where the claim is not seriously disputable (ie, where the defendant has no serious argument to challenge their obligation to pay).

Adjustments to jurisdiction of magistrate's courts and district courts

Before the reform, the magistrate's courts had jurisdiction over all claims in civil and commercial matters with a maximum dispute value of €10,000 (with certain exceptions), and the district courts had jurisdiction over all claims with a dispute value of more than €10,000.

The new law has raised that limit to €15,000, which allows for more civil and commercial cases to be handled by the magistrate's courts, reducing the workload of the district courts.

This adjustment has a twofold effect:

  • it speeds up the handling of cases with a dispute value of between €10,000 and €15,000 (as, in most cases, proceedings before the magistrate's courts are oral, they do not require written conclusions to be drafted); and
  • it allows district court judges to concentrate their efforts and time on cases with higher dispute values.


The reform is welcomed by litigators in Luxembourg; it substantially modernises Luxembourg civil procedure law, and it will certainly further enhance Luxembourg's business attractiveness.

For further information on this topic please contact Raphaël Schindler at Luther SA by telephone (+352 27484 1) or email ([email protected]). The Luther SA website can be accessed at


(1) The law was published in the Official Gazette (Mémorial A) 541 on 19 July 2021.