House approves revision of law against squatting

House approves revision of law against squatting
Credit: Belga

Belgium’s Parliament on Thursday approved the reinstatement of a law criminalising squatting, part of a 'pot pourri' bill introduced by Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne.

The text was adopted unanimously, albeit with abstentions by Vlaams Belang and the Parti Belge du Travail (PTB).

The original law dates back to 2017 and was introduced at the initiative of parliamentarian Egbert Lachaert. However, the Constitutional Court ruled that expulsion orders issued by public prosecutors on their own violated defendants’ rights.

The new provision aims to correct this. From now on, a public prosecutor may, at the request of the holder of a right or title to a property, order the evacuation of the property concerned only after receiving an authorisation from an investigating judge.

In addition, the bill bans the purchase of weapons on the Internet and allows civil marriages to be celebrated outside a municipal office.

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