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 with a legal background (university professor of law at a Belgian university, magistrate with the Court of Cassation (Supreme Court) or the Council of State, legal secretary with the Constitutional Court) and three judges who have had at least five years experience as members of parliament.

        Candidates must be at least forty years of age. 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 presides over the Court for a term of one year, commencing on 1 September, in rotation with the other president.

         The Court is assisted by legal secretaries (maximum 24, as many Dutch-speakers as French-speakers) and two registrars, one from each linguistic group.

2. Present composition

French linguistic group

Dutch linguistic group

Presidents Roger HENNEUSE Marc BOSSUYT (Baron)
Judges

Jean-Paul SNAPPE

Etienne DE GROOT

Jean-Paul MOERMAN

Luc LAVRYSEN
Jean SPREUTELS André ALEN (Baron)
Pierre NIHOUL Erik DERYCKE
François DAOUT Trees MERCKX-VAN GOEY
Legal secretaries

Anne RASSON

Riet LEYSEN

Marie-Françoise RIGAUX

Rik RYCKEBOER

Michel PARISSE

Roger MOERENHOUT

Etienne PEREMANS

Frank MEERSSCHAUT

Bernadette RENAULD

Jan THEUNIS

Christine HOREVOETS

Katrien AUDENAERT

Jean-Thierry DEBRY

Lien DE GEYTER
Géraldine ROSOUX Geert GOEDERTIER
Thomas BOMBOIS Koen MUYLLE
  Willem VERRIJDT
Registrars

Pierre-Yves DUTILLEUX

 

 

3. Emeritus and honorary members

French linguistic group

Dutch linguistic group

Presidents

Etienne Gutt

Fernand Debaedts
Paul Martens Louis De Grève
Michel Melchior Georges De Baets
  Henri Boel
  Alex ARTS
Judges Yves de Wasseige  
  Janine Delruelle-Ghobert (Baroness)  
  Etienne Cerexhe (Baron)  
  Lucien François  
Legal secretaries Pierre Vandernoot Jan Smets
  Claude Courtoy Luc Lavrysen
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

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

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
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

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
Jean-Paul Snappe 16.05.2001
Jean-Paul Moerman 16.05.2001
Jean Spreutels 25.04.2004
Pierre Nihoul 18.04.2010
François Daoôt 10.01.2011

Last updated : 29 August 2011.