The federal government’s budget cuts policy is encouraging the FPS Justice to disobey the law and risks likening Belgium to a rogue nation. So asserted the President of the Court of Cassation (Belgium’s final court of appeal) and the Belgium’s Supreme Judicial Officer, Jean de Codt, on the broadcast The Decoders (on the channel RTBF) on Sunday.
“What respect can anyone possibly have for a nation which subcontracts its most archaic function, that of handing out justice? This nation is not a nation of laws, but indeed a rogue nation,” asserted Mr de Codt, even as the threat of strike action hangs over Belgium’s legal service.
He observes that the FPS Justice henceforth retains the power to no longer publish vacancies. It therefore does not fill managerial posts anticipated by law, without having the approval of the Administration of the Treasury (also known as the Public Treasury).
“The law is no longer respected,” asserts Jean de Codt, for whom the Stability Pact has the effect of the Justice Programme henceforth resembling “a massive social programme.”
In his eyes, due to the fact that the volume of litigation is exploding and that there are still less judicial personnel, the human right of access to justice is at risk of no longer being ensured for Belgium’s benefit. Belgium could also lose out on the international stage as regards natural justice and reasonable time periods, but also by having “appalling [detention] conditions” within Belgian prisons.
The President of the Cour de Cassation, however, considers that the confidence in the government is not completely at an end and that the dialogue continues. However he asserts that the Justice sphere should use legal weapons that are at its disposal if necessary. He personally considers a judge should not go on strike.