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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69767 Find in a Library
Title: Changing the Judiciary System in Belgium - Literature Review for the Government Commission for the Modification of the Judiciary System
Author(s): J R A Verwoerd
Corporate Author: Netherlands Ministerie Van Justice
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: Netherlands Ministerie Van Justice
2500 Eh the Hague, Netherlands
Sale Source: Netherlands Ministerie Van Justice
Box 20301
2500 Eh the Hague,
Language: Dutch
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: An overview of the reform of the judiciary system in Belgium describes the present-day judiciary organization, possible future changes, recent reform plans, and bottlenecks in the administration of justice.
Abstract: The study was undertaken by the Dutch Government Commission for the Modification of the Judiciary System. In Belgium, trial is by jury in assize courts and by lay judges in commercial courts. Jurisdictional conflicts are handled by district courts. Work and social insurance matters are heard in labor courts, which are, along with civil courts, part of the public prosecutor's office. Major changes in judicial organization resulted from the Judicial Code of 1970. The authors of the code emphasized legal-technical reform. Thus, the code established uniformity in all the texts regarding judicial administration and civil administration of justice but did not change the substance of judicial organization. The most important changes were use of district courts for disputes about competence in civil, commercial, and labor matters; expansion of responsibilities of peace courts; institution of labor courts; and merger of police and peace courts. New changes in the judicial system have been proposed, but only a limited number may actually be realized. Those most likely to receive attention are revision of the systems for training and appointing judges, appointment of two national ombudsmen with advisory responsibilities, and reorganization of administrative justice, combined with establishment of five new administrative courts. Reform of family and economic courts is much less likely. Proposals to speed up the process of justice include expansion of the responsibilities of peace and police courts as well as increases in the number of cases that can be processed by various courts. The backlog of court cases in Belgium would seem to indicate that the 1970 reforms were not basic enough to produce the expected improvements in court efficiency. Notes and an approximately 60-item bibliography of works on the administration of justice in Belgium written from 1963 to 1977 are supplied.
Index Term(s): Belgium; Court management; Court reform; Court reorganization; Judge selection; Judges; Jurisdiction; Netherlands
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