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Council of State


The Council of State is the independent advisory body on legislation and highest general administrative court to government and parliament in the Netherlands.

The Council of State has two primary tasks, carried out by two separate divisions. The Advisory Division, as its name implies, advises the government and Parliament on legislation and governance, while the Administrative Jurisdiction Division is the country’s highest general administrative court. The Council of State is a body regulated by the Constitution, which carry out their tasks independently of the government.

The Council of State handles thousands of cases per year. This results in judicial decisions and legislative advice, which are considered case law and legislative case law. These documents are regularly consulted by Councillors and registrars when, for example, a new court decision is issued on a certain subject. In addition, the Council of State has handbooks that need to be consulted with the same solution as decisions and advice.

The documents are entered into a new system and made better searchable. Links are automatically created to documents that are related to each other. This makes it easy to bring together all relevant information on a subject, location or combinations thereof.

In total, this involved more than 200,000 judgments, 12,000 opinions and more than 5,000 pages of manuals.


The Council of State described the system, functionality, features and requirements in detail and contracted Wikibase Solutions to implement the solution on the open source MediaWiki platform. After awarding the contract, we discussed the details and additional input from both sides was incorporated into the final design.

Scope of work

After the preliminary phase we started working on different levels. Designs for the User Interface were developed, the structure of the framework was set up and an import script was developed to import all the different documents (xml, docx, pdf) into "the Council of State Wiki".

Processes / Setup

  • Linking to existing Wiki documents
  • Multiple conversions of documents and importing them
  • Indexing of content
  • Creating new document pages in the Wiki through the implementation of the TinyMCE mediawiki extension, which is adapted to a full editor, using WSForm for the creation of pages.
  • Set up a booking system, where pages can be arranged and moved with the help of WSForm
  • Set up extensions for TinyMCE extension to easily link to other documents in the Wiki from the editor
  • Convert specific case law numbering (ECLI), which meet certain requirements in Europe, automatically to links to

Realisation Council of State

  • Semantic MediaWiki
  • Widgets
  • Templates
  • TinyMCE extension
  • WSArrays
  • PluggableAuth extension
  • WSAzureAuth extension wbs extension
  • WSPageSync extension wbs extension
  • for synchronization of content wiki pages to different environments
  • WSPhabricator tasks extension wbs extension
  • So that the RvS can see realtime the active tasks and can react on what we are doing
  • WSTrees extension wbs extension
  • extension that can very quickly create a table of contents for hundreds of pages
  • WSUserPages extension wbs extension
  • to automatically create user pages for new users
  • WSSharepointExport extension wbs extension
  • Lockdown extension
  • WSOAuth extension wbs extension
  • WSPDF extension wbs extension
  • for making PDF's transparent and searchable
  • Variables extension
  • TitleKey extension
  • Scribunto extension
  • DisplayTitle extension
  • Cite extension
  • FlexForm extension wbs extension

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