Sixth constitutional reform will also be transforming judicial organisation

Sixth constitutional reform will also be transforming judicial organisation

The sixth constitutional reform, whose final component was approved by the Belgian Parliament on 19 December 2013, will also be having an impact on the judicial organisation that shouldn´t be underestimated. An earlier newsflash already reported on the changes concerning the Judicial District of Brussels [1]. The key points of the Act of 1 December 2013 reforming the judicial districts and amending the Judicial Code with a view to a greater mobility of the members of the Judiciary, which was published on 10 December 2013 in the Belgian Official Journal, are briefly explained below.
 
The number of judicial districts is being reduced from twenty-seven to twelve, with it being understood that the other venues are being maintained as “divisions”. The centralisation is intended to rectify the current fragmentation of personnel, resources and workloads, without however increasing the distance between citizens and the justice system.
 
A broader deployability will be expected of both magistrates and court personnel, which should improve the speed and quality of the administration of justice. It will be easier to assign judges to sit in other courts, in accordance with current needs. This increased mobility applies not only territorially, but also substantively, and so (for example) a judge in the Court of First Instance will be able to exercise his office temporarily in a Commercial Court or even a Court of Appeal.
 
Apart from a few exceptions, the changes will enter into effect on a date that remains to be determined by the King and, in the absence of a Royal Decree specifying such date, at the latest on 1 April 2014.

[1] 24 September 2012: Sixth constitutional reform: Judicial district of Brussels
http://www.schoups.be/nl/nieuws/1598/zesde-staatshervorming-gerechtelijk-arrondissement-brussel