Presentation

Organization of the Constitutional Court

1. General

        The Court is composed of twelve judges, appointed for life by the King from a list of two candidates proposed alternately by the House of Representatives and the Senate by a majority of at least two-thirds of the members present.

        Six judges belong to the Dutch language group, six to the French language group. One of the judges must have an adequate knowledge of German. Each linguistic group is composed of three judges appointed on the basis of their legal experience (professor of law at a Belgian university, judicial officer at the Supreme Court or the Council of State, legal secretary at the Constitutional Court) and three judges who have had at least five years’ experience as Members of Parliament. The Court is composed of judges of both genders, at the rate of at least one third for the least numerous group, on the understanding that this group must be represented in both the aforementioned professional categories.

        Candidates must be at least forty years old. The judges may hold office until the age of seventy. There are strict rules of incompatibility with other offices, posts and professional activities. The judges of each linguistic group elect a president, who preside in turn over the Court for a term of one year, commencing on 1 September.

        The Court is assisted by legal secretaries (maximum 24), of whom half are Dutch-speakers and the other half French-speakers. They have a university degree in law and are selected on the basis of an open competition, the terms and conditions of which are determined by the Court.

         The Court also has one Dutch-speaking and one French-speaking registrar. The Court appoints the administrative staff that works in the different departments. The Court has its own funding system based on an annual grant, which enables it to operate in total independence and impartiality.

2. Present composition

French linguistic group

Dutch linguistic group

Presidents Jean SPREUTELS Etienne DE GROOT
Judges

Jean-Paul SNAPPE

Luc LAVRYSEN

Jean-Paul MOERMAN

André ALEN (Baron)
Pierre NIHOUL Erik DERYCKE
François DAOUT Trees MERCKX-VAN GOEY
Thierry GIET Riet LEYSEN
Legal secretaries

Anne RASSON

Jan THEUNIS

Marie-Françoise RIGAUX

Lien DE GEYTER

Etienne PEREMANS

Geert GOEDERTIER

Bernadette RENAULD

Willem VERRIJDT

Christine HOREVOETS

Sarah LAMBRECHT

Jean-Thierry DEBRY

Heidi BORTELS

Géraldine ROSOUX

David KEYAERTS
Thomas BOMBOIS Ann-Sophie VANDAELE
Sophie SEYS  
 
Registrars

Pierre-Yves DUTILLEUX

Frank MEERSSCHAUT

 

3. Emeritus and honorary members

French linguistic group

Dutch linguistic group

Presidents

Paul Martens

Louis De Grève
Roger Henneuse Georges De Baets
Henri Boel
  Alex Arts
  Marc Bossuyt (Baron)
 
Judges Yves de Wasseige  
  Janine Delruelle-Ghobert (Baroness)  
  Etienne Cerexhe (Baron)  
  Lucien François  
Legal secretaries Pierre Vandernoot Jan Smets
  Claude Courtoy Luc Lavrysen
  Michel Parisse Frank Meersschaut
   

Katrien Audenaert

 

Koen Muylle

 

Roger Moerenhout

 

Rik Ryckeboer

Registrars Henri Vander Zwalmen Lucien Potoms

 

4. Previous incumbents

a) Presidents of the Constitutional Court

Dutch linguistic group

Jan Delva (Baron) † 03.10.1984 - 27.01.1993
Fernand  Debaedts † 02.02.1993 - 06.08.1993
Louis De Grève 14.09.1993 - 16.10.1999
Georges De Baets 17.10.1999 - 13.03.2001
Henri Boel 14.03.2001 - 04.09.2001
Alex Arts 05.09.2001 - 08.10.2007
Marc Bossuyt (Baron) 09.10.2007 - 08.01.2014
André Alen (Baron) 09.01.2014 - 31.01.2016
Etienne De Groot 01.02.2016

French linguistic group

Etienne Gutt † 03.10.1984 - 30.09.1989
Jean Sarot †† 28.11.1989 - 31.12.1990
Irène Pétry † 14.01.1991 - 19.06.1992
Jacques Wathelet †  31.07.1992 - 18.11.1992
Dieudonné André †  22.12.1992 - 07.03.1993
Michel Melchior † 01.04.1993 - 17.08.2009
  29.03.2010 - 04.12.2010
Paul Martens 18.08.2009 - 28.03.2010
Roger Henneuse 05.12.2010 - 18.06.2013
Jean Spreutels 19.06.2013

b) Judges

Dutch linguistic group

Jan Delva (Baron) †† 10.09.1984 - 27.01.1993 
Willy Calewaert † 10.09.1984 - 30.10.1986
Fernand Debaedts † 10.09.1984 - 06.08.1993
Louis De Grève  10.09.1984 - 16.10.1999
Karel Blanckaert † 10.09.1984 - 31.08.1994
Louis-Paul Suetens (Baron) †† 10.09.1984 - 02.09.1996 
Henri Boel 24.11.1986 - 04.09.2001
Georges De Baets 15.01.1993 - 13.03.2001
Henri Coremans †  10.12.1993 - 31.10.2000
Alex Arts 14.11.1994 - 08.10.2007
Marc Bossuyt (Baron) 28.01.1997 - 08.01.2014
Etienne De Groot    17.12.1999
Luc Lavrysen 19.01.2001
André Alen (Baron) 16.03.2001
Erik Derycke 05.09.2001
Trees Merckx-Van Goey 17.12.2007
Riet Leysen 23.01.2014

French linguistic group

Etienne Gutt †† 10.09.1984 - 30.09.1989
Jean Sarot † 10.09.1984 - 31.12.1990
Irène Pétry † 10.09.1984 - 19.06.1992
Jacques Wathelet † 10.09.1984 - 18.11.1992
Dieudonné André † 10.09.1984 - 07.03.1993
Michel Melchior † 10.09.1984 - 04.12.2010
Lucien François 22.11.1989 - 26.03.2004
Paul Martens    24.12.1990 - 28.03.2010
Yves de Wasseige 26.07.1992 - 14.12.1994
Janine Delruelle-Ghobert (Baroness) 21.12.1992 - 24.04.2001
Etienne Cerexhe (Baron) 01.12.1993 - 18.04.2001
Roger Henneuse        06.01.1995 - 18.06.2013
Jean-Paul Snappe 16.05.2001
Jean-Paul Moerman 16.05.2001
Jean Spreutels 25.04.2004
Pierre Nihoul 18.04.2010
François Daoût 10.01.2011
Thierry Giet 21.06.2013

Last updated : August 10, 2017.