As a former colony and a current constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba has a legal system that strongly resembles the Dutch legal system. As is the case in the Netherlands, our penal code is divided into two books: a Criminal Code and a Code of Criminal Procedure. Whether you are a visitor or a resident, when you are in Aruba, the rules laid down in our penal code will apply to you.
The Aruban Court of First Instance presides over criminal and civil cases and its rulings may be submitted to the Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and of Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba on appeal. The Joint Court is a visiting court, whose hearings take place during monthly sessions at the Court of First Instance. Aruban Court proceedings are open to the public, unless certain exceptional circumstances prevent public access.