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Chronicle of a Crisis Foretold. The Judicial System in Belgium
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Chronicle of a Crisis Foretold. The Judicial System in Belgium

(Luc Huyse) The Low Countries - 1998, № 6, pp. 200-206

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The Belgian judicial system is failing. This is not a conclusion which has been reached recently, following the failure of judicial bodies in a number of cases involving missing children and the consequent mass protests. The maladies of the judicial systern were already clearly visible at the beginning of the 1970s. Newspaper cuttings from those years talk about the pernicious influence of political appointments, outdated working methods, bottlenecks in the courts and judges being out of touch with the real world This diagnosis was made repeatedly over many years. But it did not lead to radical reforms. There are at least two explanations for this. First, the inertia which is a result of the tenacious, almost unyielding balance of power in politics. Second, the way in which the political agenda is drawn up in Belgium. The problems facing the judicial system require an entirely new approach. They require more than the crisis management which has been the custom in Belgian government for so many years.

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