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    60% of population approve of Belgian courts


    Over 60% of residents in Belgium, 61% to be precise, are satisfied with the justice system, according to the 4th poll undertaken between February and March of last year for the High Council of Justice. Almost 8 out of 10 people polled (76%) think that anyone involved with the courts will get a fair trial. At the same time, 60% feel there is not enough communication about what courts do, and 9 out of &10 people (92%) feel cases take too long to resolve.

    A research institute polled a representative sample (1,511 people) of the Belgian population on behalf of the High Council of Justice.  Only 121 people (9%) had had dealings with the criminal justice system in the previous 10 years, including 80 as either victims or suspects, and 321 (20%) had had dealings with a civil court, of which 259 were plaintiffs or defendants The HCJ poll aims to reflect public opinion as opposed to researching the level of satisfaction amongst defendants, notes the High Council of Justice.

    Over half of all suspects or victims (57%) are happy with the way their case was dealt with by criminal courts. This percentage was only 49% in the 2010 poll, 40% in 2007 and 35% in 2002. But only 64% felt a judge had listened to them (12% less than in 2010).

    Overall, 35% of the population feel the justice system gives enough information about its workings. This represents a 9% increase since 2010. Almost 6 out of 10 people polled (57%) are happy with the overall job being done. 15- to 24-year-olds, the over 80s, and people who live on their own are generally happier with the courts. But people who have had dealings with the law in the past 10 years tend to be less satisfied. Brussels residents and Walloons tend to think the system is not working as well as before.

    Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)