"Computerisation of judiciary at standstill"

The Ghent magistrate Hans Van Bossuyt has resigned as deputy chairman of the committee which oversees the computerisation of the justice department. According to him there is no political will to continue with the computerisation of the judiciary.

Hans Van Bossuyt (photo below) has been closely involved with the computerisation of the justice department since 2002. Now he is fed up. In his letter of resignation he says the computerisation of the justice department has been effectively paralysed during the past two years.

Of the 299 justices of peace in Belgium only 100 are equipped with the necessary computer technology. According to Mr Van Bossuyt Belgium is way behind our neighbouring countries. Further more he says the backlog is almost insurmountable.

Hans Van Bossuyt attributes the problem to a lack of political will and support for the project. He has drawn his conclusion and has chosen to step back from the impasse.

Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck aims for 2011

Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck (Flemish Christian democrat, photo) does not deny that the computerisation of the judiciary is a slow moving process and that there has been some resistance to the process. He denies however that the project has come to a standstill.

In a VRT radio news programme on Radio 1 Mr De Clerck said that important steps have been made in the process of computerising the judiciary. He admitted that there are now other priorities.

For example, the minister wants to first reform the structure of the judiciary and then adapt the IT to the new structure.

The justice minister wants to move very quickly after the new structure is in place and would like to have the computerisation of the judiciary completed by 2011, despite the resistance he expects from within.