Points of contact and Belgian members of the network
Two points of contact have been designated by Belgium. One of these is a judge in the Court of Cassation (Cour de cassation), who coordinates the relationship of the network with members from the judiciary; the other is a civil servant in the Federal Public Service for Justice (Service public fédéral Justice), working in the department for international legal cooperation on civil matters.
In addition, the Belgian network currently comprises 15 judges, members under Article 2(1)(d) of Council Decision 2001/470/EC. Three or four judges are designated for each jurisdiction of the Court of Appeal (cour d’appel); each of them is specialised in family law, commercial law or procedural law. These judges are from courts of different levels (Court of Appeal, courts of first instance (tribunaux de première instance), commercial courts (tribunaux de commerce) and justices of the peace (justices de paix)).
A representative of the National Council of Chief Clerks (Conseil national des greffiers en chef) is also a member of the Belgian network under Article 2(1)(d) of the abovementioned Decision.
Four representatives of the legal professions have also been designated by Belgium as members of the network in accordance with Article 2(1)(e): a representative of notaries, a representative of court bailiffs, and two representatives of the bar associations (one representing the French-speaking and German-speaking associations and one representing the Flemish associations).
There is also coordination with the various central authorities designated under a number of different regulations (Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003, Regulation (EC) No 4/2009, Regulation (EC) No 1393/2001 etc.).
Contacts have been established with the Belgian section of the European Consumer Centre.
Method of operation of the network
Most communication takes place by e-mail. Information from the European Commission and more particularly from the Secretariat is distributed to members mainly by one of the points of contact. Members take part in network meetings depending on the subject matter. In addition, a meeting of Belgian judges who are members of the network is organised once a year.
The members are regularly invited to communicate information on new legislation as widely as possible or to distribute questionnaires to their colleagues. Generally, documentation published by the European Commission and useful Internet links are widely distributed to the courts. In addition, some network members are involved in the publication of the newsletter on European legislation (Eur-alert!).
A collaboration has also been established with the Judicial Training Institute enabling points of contact and members to speak at the training courses that it organises on recent European legislation and in particular on the arrangements for European and international legal cooperation on civil and commercial matters.
In respect of the treatment of specific questions such as those related to the content of foreign law or developments in proceedings with cross-border effects, the contacts are in principle established by e-mail on the one hand between the Belgian point of contact and the Belgian judge who investigated the matter as part of proceedings in progress, and on the other among the points of contact of the Member States involved.
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Last update: 18/09/2019