Belgium's New Specialized Judiciary
Russian Law Journal, Volume II (2014), Issue 4, p. 129-145
17 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2014
Date Written: October 24, 2014
This brief national report was written for the First Siberian Legal Forum on the ‘Specialization of Judges and Courts: Comparative and Russian Context’. It gives an overview of the Belgian judicial structure. After a short analysis of the judicial organization before 2014, that presents an outline of the Belgian first instance and appellate courts, particular attention is paid to the comprehensive judicial reforms of 2014. The enlargement of the judicial districts and the introduction of (internal and external) judicial mobility will lead to more specialized courts and judges. The creation of a Family and Juvenile Court and the re-allocation of some civil and commercial competences, between the Justice of the Peace and the Commercial Court, will have the same effect. Nevertheless, this report concludes that the 2014 reform is a missed opportunity to create a large “unified” district court in which all first instance courts are merged.
Keywords: judicial reform, judicial specialization, Belgium
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