Introducing "Legal Chat"

The Netherlands, Saturday, 15 January 2011 21:46:39

This site receives a lot of questions on legal issues. Triggered by our pages on visa regulations and regulation marriage to foreigners, hundreds of questions have been asked and answered -- by your webmaster, who is not a lawyer, and often has to do considerable research to get to some answers.

To lift this to the next level, Jeanie S. Pulido, ESQ., lawyer for, has offered to add a column to this site answering various legal questions, commonly asked on this site.

Legal issues can be complex, and in a forum like this, only generic answers can be given. Answers that should suffice most of the time, and would enable most people to deal with things and understand their position in the common cases -- and help them to avoid wasting both time and money, and hopefully from ever seeing a court room from the inside. Things like getting a passport, a visa, or getting married and buying a piece of land normally happen without courts getting involved. Just by using common sense, and taking some time to get to know the rules and procedures.

However, sometimes people end up with a situation that is too complex to handle that way, or people have run into things without following rules, and find themselves in legal problems. In that case, a generic answer is not enough, and you may find yourself in need of professional advice and somebody who knows his or her ways around. Don't hesitate to find a competent lawyer in such cases.

A few rules apply to this forum.

Feel happy to fire your questions!

A few pictures, I'd like to share with our readers.

Justice-on-Wheels busses parked in front of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

In the Philippines, the legal system is often over-worked, and as a result cases can take a long time. A few years ago, I passed by the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and saw this praiseworthy initiative to remedy the situation with the "Justice on Wheels" program, in which mobile courts assist the regular court system.

Interior of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

The Supreme Court is at the top of the legal system of the Philippines. It is housed in an impressive building in Ermita. Here the difficult cases end up, and the final decisions are made. We sincerely hope you will never see this interior yourself -- except of course as a casual visitor.

Jeroen Hellingman