A sitting of the correctional tribunal in the Brussels Justice Palace was illuminated earlier today by police torches and a construction lamp, after the power went out.
At the start of the hearing before the court, the lights began to flicker, until in the end they went out altogether.
An appeal was made to the police officers present to lend the court their service flash-lights, while a strong construction lamp was found in the building – part of the everlasting renovation works going on in the Brussels landmark building. That allowed the bench to finish hearing the case in front of it, at which point the lead magistrate adjourned the remainder of the cases scheduled to allow for repairs to be made.
This is the second such occurrence in the Justice Palace this week. On Tuesday magistrates in another courtroom had recourse the construction lamp after both permanent lamps in the room gave up the ghost. After the lamps were replaced, and Wednesday’s cases went ahead without incident.
The latest lighting problems are just the latest in a long list of the building’s woes. The Justice Palace has been under scaffolding for so long that in 2013 the scaffolding itself had to be renewed. In September last year the ceiling collapsed in the Cassation Court, and two court workers were injured when a shelving unit in the registry of the Court of Appeal came away from the wall where it was attached and collapsed. Meanwhile around the exterior of the building, plants grow from cracks in the stonework, and the majority of the 28 entrances to the huge building have had to be closed (photo) because they cannot be maintained.