FACTOID # 21: 15% of Army recruits from South Dakota are Native American, which is roughly the same percentage for female Army recruits in the state.
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Encyclopedia > Council of State (Belgium)

Council of State (Dutch: Raad van State, French: Conseil d'√Čtat), in Belgium, is an organ of the Belgian government. Its functions include assisting the executive with legal advice and being the supreme court for administrative justice. Its members are (for the most part) high level jurists.



Because after Belgium gained its independence from the Netherlands, the Belgian government was hesitant to create a Council of State, given the perceived abuse of the Dutch Council of State, no Council of State was created in Belgium.

After World War II the need arose for a Supreme Administrative Court and such an organ was created by the law of 23 December 1946 as a body that administers justice, although it does not officially belong to the judiciary but falls under the competence of the minister of the interior. Combatants Allies: Poland, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, France/Free France, United States, China, Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Greece, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, Bulgaria, Finland, Romania, Hungary, Burma, Slovakia Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8...

Since then the Belgian Constitution has been amended to include the existence of the Council of State. Article 160 of the Belgian Constitution provides that there is for all of Belgium one Council of state, the composition, competence and functioning of which are regulated by law. The organisation and functioning of the Council of State are presently provided for by the organic laws on the Council of State, coordinated by the Royal Decree of 12 January 1973.

Organisation and Competence


The Council of State comprises the council, the auditeurs' office, the coordination office, the registry and the administrative staff. The Council is further divided into a legislation section and an administration section.

The Council has 44 judges:

  • a first President
  • a President
  • 12 Presidents of Chambres
  • 30 Councillors

The aformentioned judges are appointed for life by the King. The judges themselves elect their Presidents.

The Council has its seat at the following address: Wetenschapsstraat/rue de la Science 33 in Brussels.


The Belgian Council of State was modelled after her French namesake with greatly similar powers. In France, the Conseil dÉtat (English: Council of State and sometimes Counsel of State) is an organ of the French national government. ...


The Council hears cases against decisions of the federal government (royal decrees, regulations issued by ministers, decisions by committees with a national competency) and decisions of the regional governments and the governments of the communities (executive orders, regulations issued by ministers,...) as well as against decisions of the provincial and municipal governments and decisions of various state organs.

The Council of State examines the conformance of these regulations and administrative decisions with respect to the Constitution, (higher) administrative decisions, the general principles of Law, statute law, international traties and conventions. The general principles of Law are principles that are not found in any statute, yet derive from the spirit of the body of law; they are discovered by the Council and thus made into case law.

The Council is the cassation jurisdiction for decisions by administrative courts of appeal, meaning that it hears cases in which the plaintiff argues that the court of appeal ignored or misinterpreted law.

The procedure is inquisitorial: the litigant writes a letter to the Council, stating precisely what happened and why he feels that the defendant acted illegally; the Council then starts an inquiry, asking the other party (generally, a government or government agency) for precisions, and so on until the Council has a clear picture of the case. The litigant does not have the burden of proof: the Council may well decide that the litigant was right and the government was wrong if the information supplied by the litigant was sufficient to enable it to find the missing proofs. Of course, both parties may supply supplemental information until the case is ready for final judgment. A litigant has to make his claim within 60 days after the publication of the regulation in the Belgisch Staatsblad/Moniteur belge, or if it is a decision which affects only a limited number of people, within 60 days after he gets notified of it. This article is about the inquisitorial system for organizing court proceedings. ... Categories: Move to Wiktionary | Law stubs | Legal terms ... Illegal, or unlawful, is either prohibitted or not authorized by law. ... In the common law, burden of proof is the obligation to prove allegations which are presented in a legal action. ...

In some cases, it is unclear whether a case should be heard before administrative courts or judiciary courts. In this case, Court of Cassation decides who has jurisdiction. The Cour de cassation is the main court of last resort in France. ...

Advisory capacity

In principle, whenever federal Acts or Decrees are drawn up by the federal parliaments (federation, communities or regions) or Decrees by the federal government (Royal or Ministerial Decrees) or by a regional government, these must first before being published be sent to the Legislative Section for its advice. Normative texts coming from the executive power must be submitted for advice in draft form whereas for normative texts originating from a member of parliament, the advice is optional.

See also

The Cour de cassation is the main court of last resort in France. ... The Court of Arbitration of Belgium plays a central role within the federal Belgian state. ...

External links

  • Official website of the Belgian Council of State
  • Article about the workings of the Council of State



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