The first Advocate General at the Court of Cassation, André Henkes, evoked, Monday morning, in his back-to-court address, the risks connected with the possible institution of the Brussels International Business Court (BIBC). This new body would be an English-speaking commercial court, which would be particularly competent to settle disputes involving international institutions and companies having their head office in Brussels. For Advocate General Henkes, if this project succeeds, the main challenge will be not to generate a two-speed justice.
“We share the consideration of Superior Council of Justice (CSJ) when it writes that ‘per se, the setting up of an instance permitting to be the closest possible to the companies’ needs, in terms of justice […] is rather commendable, but it should not ignore the financial and organizational problems the judicial power is facing […],’” the first Advocate General at the Court of Cassation, André Henkes, expounded during his back-to-court speech.
“It is advisable, at the very least, to avoid a distortion between, on the one hand, justice for litigants, mostly foreigners, who will choose the BIBC and benefit from an adequate material environment and speedy decisions, and, on the other hand, that of the other citizens, who will have to be content with justice being done on obsolete premises, without adequate human resources to render justice within a reasonable time frame,” the magistrate put forth with regards to the BIBC, the decisions of which could be objects of appeals.
He also wondered about the organization of the BIBC and its usefulness, reminding that the judges in this court would be chosen among Belgian judges and counselors who show proof of a sufficient knowledge of the English language and of international trade legislation.