Impact of COVID-19 on litigation in Belgium
The coronavirus (COVID-19) measures have an impact on all aspects of our lives. It comes as no surprise that these measures also impact proceedings before the Belgian courts.
This Q&A provides a response to the main questions you might have relating to pending/future court proceedings.
By Royal Decree no. 2 enacted on 9 April 2020 (as amended by Royal Decree of 28 April 2020), the Belgian government adopted several measures which strongly impact civil court proceedings. These measures apply to all Belgian courts.
For matters that are not regulated by Royal Decree no. 2, the specific measures relating to COVID-19 adopted by the Belgian courts need to be taken into account. The College of courts and tribunals (“College van hoven en rechtbanken/Collège des courts et tribunaux”) issued compulsory guidelines which applied to all courts in Belgium until 3 May 2020. These guidelines are not extended, but the College of courts and tribunals has issued an “exit-strategy” which includes different measures that will apply as of 18 May 2020. Provided that the measures set out in the exit-strategy are general, each court has adopted different, more detailed measures to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. This Q&A is based on the general exit-strategy applying to all Belgian courts. We therefore recommend to reach out to us for more information if you have specific questions relating to e.g. a scheduled hearing before a specific court.
We are monitoring all measures on a daily basis and we will provide regular updates here.
Hakim BoularbahAttorney at Law Partner
Hakim Boularbah, attorney at law, is Partner and heads the Litigation & Risk Management practice group in our Brussels office. He focuses on cross-border litigation and international arbitration. He is also a member of the France Region Team and of the US Region Team.T: +32 2 773 23 50 M: +32 499 51 32 99 E: [email protected]
Olivier van der HaegenPartner Attorney at Law
Olivier van der Haegen, attorney at law, is Partner and member of the Litigation & Risk Management practice group in our Brussels office. He is experienced in dispute resolution, and focuses on international commercial arbitration. He is also a member of the Restructuring & Insolvency Team and of the France Region Teams.T: +32 2 773 23 52 M: +32 492 22 06 91 E: [email protected]
Maria-Clara Van den BosscheSenior associate Attorney at Law
Maria-Clara Van den Bossche, attorney at law, is a member of the Litigation & Risk Management practice group in our Brussels office. She specializes in the resolution of complex international civil and commercial disputes.T: +32 2 773 23 63 E: [email protected]