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Minister denies plan to merge judicial districts

Published on 15/06/2005

15 June 2005

BRUSSELS — Federal Justice Minister Laurette Onkelinx has denied media reports she is planning to merge judicial districts.

Belgian media had earlier reported on Wednesday the Socialist PS minister was planning to reduce the number of judicial districts from 27 to 16.

However, Onkelinx said her reform plans were only aimed at improving and accelerating the work of the judiciary by bringing it closer to the public, newspaper ‘De Tijd’ reported.

She said the plan — which will be sent to cabinet colleagues next week — will not contain proposals to merge judicial districts.
Newspapers also reported the minister’s reform plans were not definite and open to discussion among magistrates and lawyers.
The public would barely have noticed the mergers had they proceeded, but the news would have come as a bombshell for the judiciary.

In every judicial district there is a magistrates court, a district court, an industrial tribunal and a court of commerce. It had been reported Onkelinx planned to merge 19 districts into eight.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Belgian news