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Federal institutions

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Courts and tribunals judging criminal matters

Police courts
Correctional court
Juvenile court
Court of Assizes
Court of Appeal, correctional chambers
Crown prosecutor’s office
General prosecutor’s office

Not older than 100 years: General prosecutor

Older than 100 years: Freely accessible

Remarks:
In juvenile court matters, an explicit access/copying authorisation from a prosecution magistrate is required for accessing files pertaining to personality and living environment (Law of 8 April 1965 about youth protection, art. 55)

Legal framework:
Royal decree of 28 December 1950 about the general rules on court costs in criminal cases (art. 125 of the general rules)

Courts and tribunals judging civil matters (except juvenile matters)

Justice of the peace
Civil court
Commercial court
Labour court
Court of appeal, civil chambers
Court of labour (appeals)
Courts of war damages and war damages courts

Not older than 30 years: Head clerk of the court

Older than 30 years and not privacy-related: Freely accessible

Older than 30 years and privacy-related: National Archivist or his/her authorised representative; if the requester is not a party concerned, or a citizen seeking justice, he/she must fill in a research declaration.

Remarks:
Access and/or reproduction is only permitted for:

  • The parties concerned
  • Within the framework of a lawsuit or an appeal: the relatives in direct line – ascending or descending – of one of the parties, the mandated lawyers or notaries, the ministerial public officers and every person entitled by law
  • Researchers able to prove the scientific nature of their research (students need a permission of their supervisor)

Courts and tribunals judging civil matters are (in general) public (Judicial Code, art. 719)
The trade register is freely accessible.

Legal framework:
Judicial Code, art. 1380
Law of 8 December 1992 about the protection of privacy

Courts and tribunals judging civil matters (juvenile matters)

Juvenile court
Court of appeal, juvenile chambers

Not older than 100 years: General prosecutor or crown prosecutor

Older than 100 years: Freely accessible

Legal framework:
Law on the protection of the youth of 8 April 1965, art. 63
Penal Code, art. 433bis

Military courts (Council of war, war auditor and war court)

Not older than 100 years: College of general prosecutors

Older than 100 years: Freely accessible

Legal framework:
Law of 10 April 2003 about the abolition of military courts in times of peace and their appointment in war times

Central administrations and external services of the FPS and PPS, except the external services of the FPS Finance

Older than 30 and not privacy-related: Freely accessible

Older than 30 and privacy-related: National Archivist or his/her authorised representative + research declaration

Remarks:
These provisions apply among others to the archives of prisons and internment centres.

Legal framework:
Law on Archives, art. 3 paragraph 1
Law of 8 December 1992 about the protection of privacy

Mortgage registries

Older than 30 years: Freely accessible

Legal framework:
Civil Code (Law of 16 December 1851 on mortgages), art. 127

Registration offices

Older than 30 years:

  • The parties concerned or their rightful claimants must produce an authorisation issued by the registrar from whose office the archives originate in order to obtain access to said archives or to make copies thereof;
  • Every other requester must petition an authorisation from the registrar and from the justice of the peace of the jurisdiction in which the registration office is located (or in case the office has been closed, the requester must petition the authorisation from the registration office that preserves the archives of the closed office and from the justice of the peace).


Older than 100 years: Freely accessible

Legal framework:
Code of succession, art. 143
Code of registration, mortgage and court clerks, art. 236

Offices for VAT, direct taxes and capital taxes

Older than 30 years: Every person has the right to access the files about him or her. All other persons must request authorisation of the receiver.

Older than 100 years: Freely accessible

Land registry

Older than 30 years and not related to privacy: Freely accessible

Older than 30 years and privacy-related: Regional land registry director

Legal framework:
Code of income taxes, art. 504

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