Organisation of the Court
MISSION OF THE COURT
To control and coordinate the application of the law. Referred to by an appeal in cassation, the court analyses the legality of the rulings and does not know of the facts of the case.
The appeal in cassation is a specific procedure which only gives the right to the Court of cassation to assess a ruling which was given in last resort and either breaks the rule of law or violates the law.
Where appropriate, after the attacked ruling has been quashed, the Court of cassation orders the case to be sent back and the facts re-judged by the competent court.
Thence, the Court of cassation is not a 3rd degree of jurisdiction meaning it does not judge the dispute for a third time.
As mentioned before, the court is organized in three chambers:
The first chamber is in session on Thursdays and Fridays. It knows of civil, economic, commercial, tax, administrative and disciplinary cases.
The second chamber is in session on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It knows of the criminal cases.
The third chamber is in session on Mondays. It knows of the social cases which are not criminal.
Each chamber is divided in 2 linguistic sections: a French speaking and a Dutch speaking.
Usually, a chamber is made of 5 judges. For easier cases, 3 judges are enough.
During a plenary audience, the chamber is made of 9 members. This happens whenever the chamber knows of a case which requires both sections to be present in order to ensure the consistency in case law.
When the Court is in session as a full court, meaning all chambers sit together, all judges are supposed to attend the hearing. However, the number of judges must be uneven with a minimum of 11. /p>
Secretary’s office of the first president
Tel.: 02 508 62 74
Head of Cabinet
- J. Mertens
Secretary’s office of the General Prosecutor
Tel.: 02 508 62 96 - 02 508 62 56
Fax: 02 508 63 58
- E. Ruytenbeek
Since 1998, the Court is assisted by highly qualified legal advisers, law clerks near the Court of cassation. At the moment, the number of law clerks near the court of Cassation is set by the Minister of Justice to 15 people, 10 Dutch speakers and 5 French speakers, amongst whom one speaks German.
The law clerks near the Court of cassation prepare the work of the judges and of the members of the public prosecutor’s office. They work together on tasks regarding the drafting of projects. They are in charge of the documentation process and of the scientific preparation of the files based on notes and studies.
Registry of the Court of cassation
The registry is reachable from Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 12:30 and from 13:30 to 16:00.
Tel.: 02 508 62 63 - 02 519 85 79
Delegated judges conduct research and study activities for the judges and members of the public prosecutor’s office. They guarantee the documentation and the scientific preparation of a case based on notes and studies.
Department for the consistency of documents
This department consists of several delegated judges, two assistants and a team of translators.
Department for the documentation of legislations
This department keeps the members of the court (judges, law clerks, attorney generals…) updated regarding the legislation.