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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/23924

Title: Are Courts to Blame for Delays in Belgian Civil Procedures?: A Decomposition of Case Duration
Authors: Bielen, Samantha
Marneffe, Wim
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: JUSTICE SYSTEM JOURNAL, 38(4), p. 399-420
Abstract: This article examines the duration of 238 construction cases at three first instance courts in Belgium by composing a detailed timeline for each case. The results show that disputing parties account for 40 percent of overall duration, calendar delays and judges each for 23 percent. Despite the differences in overall duration between our three courts, the relative shares of disputing parties, judges, and legal experts are nearly identical. Furthermore, we combined our quantitative results with interviews of all judges involved in our dataset and an elaborated lawyer survey. Both the quantitative and qualitative results show that the level of activism of the judges involved significantly impacts the overall duration and efficient flow of proceedings. Our results suggest that judges do have the possibility to speed up proceedings, but given the prevalence of party autonomy in Belgium, a change in mindset of many judges is necessary to ensure the effectiveness of guidelines and procedural rules that aim at accelerating court procedures.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/23924
DOI: 10.1080/0098261X.2017.1331772
ISI #: 000423269200007
ISSN: 0098-261X
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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