"Nobody to pick up the phone in the afternoons!"

Flemish magistrates in the capital are up in arms after seven Flemish staff members were told they would have to go and work for the Francophone court of first instance in the city despite the fact that the Flemish court of first instance too faces a staff shortage.

The matter came to light after the Brussels magistrate charged with press relations attached to the Flemish court spoke with the daily De Tijd. Anouk Devenyns told the daily that starting tomorrow seven court clerks and other court officials will have to go and work for the Francophone court for no less than a year at a time that the Flemish court too is facing staff shortages.

The Brussels court of first instance was split in two a year ago, but clearly Belgian magistrates are having a hard time getting on without each other. The Flemish court clerks have to fill the gaps at the Francophone court and as a result there will be nobody to pick up the phone in the afternoons at the Flemish court.

The staff transfer is the result of a decision by the first president of the Brussels appeal court, but the Flemish court warns that this is a decision for which there is no base in law!