Revisions to the law governing foreigners in Belgium suggested by chief prosecutor
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    Revisions to the law governing foreigners in Belgium suggested by chief prosecutor

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    The Belgian law controlling access to the country and the residence, settlement and deportation of foreigners, is to be made the subject of an in-depth revision.

    This call for a change to the law from 15 December 1980 was announced by André Henkes, the chief prosecutor at the court of appeal during his new-judicial-year speech on Monday morning.

    The senior magistrate is convinced that nowadays it is necessary “to devise a durable view of asylum and migration policy” and to present it “in a text […] setting out in an accessible and transparent way the rights and obligations of foreign nationals in terms of residence.”

    For him, a change is required with regard to the current migratory situation. The asylum crisis has without question had an impact on the 1980 law governing the status of foreigners, according to the prosecutor. The law has had to respond to various reforms, notably the one concerning the convention for the protection of human rights and basic freedoms, the one concerning the convention relating to children’s rights as well as to the “Europeanisation” of foreigners’ rights obligating Belgium, as a member state, to align its laws with European directives.

    “In the face of these changes, the law has become extremely complicated if not unreadable, giving rise to inadequate legal certainty for foreigners,” Henkes posited.

    The Brussels Times