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4 - Belgium

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2013

Dirk Van Gerven
Affiliation:
Past President of the Brussels Bar (Dutch-speaking section)
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Summary

Preliminary note

In Belgium, lawyers who are admitted to the Bar are subject to a duty of professional secrecy (also known as the attorney–client privilege). Only lawyers who are admitted to the Bar are entitled to appear in court (with a few exceptions). Such lawyers are self-employed, although they can be partners or associates in a law firm. They must comply with the Bar's code of ethics. In Belgium, there is a bar association in each judicial district (arrondissement judiciaire/gerechtelijk arrondissement), which comprises a court of first instance, a commercial court and a labour court. In total, Belgium has twenty-seven bar associations, each of which is presided over by a bâtonnier or stafhouder (hereinafter referred to as the ‘president of the bar association’).

Lawyers who work for a company (in-house counsel), the state or a public organisation are not members of the Bar. They can, however, join the Institute of Company Lawyers (Institut des juristes d'entreprise/Instituut voor bedrijfsjuristen), in which case they are authorised to use the title ‘company lawyer’. Written legal advice prepared by company lawyers is deemed confidential (confidential/confidentieel) by law.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

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References

Nypels, A., Législation criminelle de la Belgique, Brussels, III, 1872, 294. This is confirmed by settled case law, including that of the Supreme Court (Cass. 27 March 1905, Pas. 1905, I, 176
Constitutional Court, 3 May 2000, TBBR 2002, 452
Brussels Court of Appeal, 18 June 1974, Pas. 1975, II, 42
Court of Cassation, 27 March 1905, Pas. 1905, 176
Court of Cassation, 13 June 1963, Pas. 1963, I, 1079
Court of Cassation, 13 June 1963, Pas. 1963, I, 1079
Liège Court of Appeal, 4 May 1961, Jur. Liège 1962, 233
Court of Cassation, 9 May 2007, JT 2007, 526, note by K. Kennes
Brussels Court of Appeal, 25 June 2001, JT 2001, 735
Brussels Court of Appeal, 25 June 2001, JT 2001, 735; Brussels Criminal Court, 20 February 1998, JT 1998, 361, note by P. Lambert
Constitutional Court, 23 January 2008, JLMB 2008, 180, note by F. Abu Dalu
Constitutional Court, 3 May 2000, RGDCB 2002, 452, note by A. Thilly
Antwerp Court of Appeal, 14 June 2001, Rev.Dr.Santé 2004–5, 128
Court of Cassation, 5 February 1985, Pas. 1985, I, 670
Liège Court of Appeal, 14 December 1988, JT 1989, 256
Brussels Criminal Court, 20 February 1998, JT 1998, 361
Brussels Criminal Court, 20 February 1998, JT 1998, 361
Court of Cassation, 3 June 1976, Pas. 1976, I, 1070; 12 May 1977, Pas. 1977, I, 929; 29 May 1986, Pas. 1986, I, 1194
Ghent Court of Appeal, 30 November 1961, Pas. 1963, II, 127
Court of Cassation, 29 May 1986, Pas. 1986, I, 1194; 3 June 1976, Pas. 1976, I, 1070
Mons Court of Appeal, 14 May 2009, JLMB 2010, 1423
Brussels Criminal Court, 29 March 2001, JT 2001, 617, note by P. Lambert
A. Braun and F. Moreau, La profession d'avocat, Brussels, 1985, 127–8
Court of Cassation, 11 February 1946, Pas. 1946, I, 66
order to be applicable. Court of Cassation, 5 May 1992, Pas. 1992, I, 782; 5 February 1999, RW 1998–1999, 1352
Constitutional Court, 14 June 2006, JLMB 2006, 1128, note by J. Wildemeersch
Brussels Court of Appeal, 21 June 1978, JT 1979, 29
Court of Cassation, 15 March 1948, Pas. 1948, I, 169
Court of Cassation, 22 March 1926, Pas. 1926, I, 310
Liège Court of Appeal, 25 June 1958, Pas. 1959, II, 108
Court of Cassation, 27 March 1905, Pas. 1905, I, 176
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  • Belgium
    • By Dirk Van Gerven, Past President of the Brussels Bar (Dutch-speaking section)
  • Compiled by The Bar of Brussels
  • Book: Professional Secrecy of Lawyers in Europe
  • Online publication: 05 June 2013
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139382656.005
Available formats
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Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • Belgium
    • By Dirk Van Gerven, Past President of the Brussels Bar (Dutch-speaking section)
  • Compiled by The Bar of Brussels
  • Book: Professional Secrecy of Lawyers in Europe
  • Online publication: 05 June 2013
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139382656.005
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Belgium
    • By Dirk Van Gerven, Past President of the Brussels Bar (Dutch-speaking section)
  • Compiled by The Bar of Brussels
  • Book: Professional Secrecy of Lawyers in Europe
  • Online publication: 05 June 2013
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139382656.005
Available formats
×