Translators and interpreters, psychiatrists and other legal experts will now be paid more quickly for the services they provide.
Thanks to the creation of 13 court fees offices, they will effectively have a single, central point of contact for having their services paid for. Voted in mid-march, the draft legislation concerning the new system has just been published in the Belgian Official Journal, the minister of Justice, Koen Geens (CD&V), announced on Thursday.
In practice, translators and other legal experts will no longer have to apply to a secretariat of the prosecutor’s office or local court office to have their bills paid, each district having a court fees office in which staff specially trained in public accounting will deal with expense statements. The average payment deadline will go down from 154 days in 2018 to under 60, according to minister Geens.
Furthermore, the distinction between ‘urgent’ and ‘non-urgent’ fees disappears. The latter regularly involve late payments and misunderstandings concerning payers or recipients. “Starting from today, every payment will be carried out within a reasonable time and claims will be paid digitally,” Geens added.
Finally, the creation of court fees offices will enable the better handling of expenses relating to criminal law, the digitization and improved exchange of data increasing the likelihood of the Federal Public Service being able to collect legal costs effectively from the convicted person.