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Key facts of the case:

The applicants requested the annulment of Article 60 of the Law on diverse provisions of 30 July 2013, which states that article 44 para 1 line 1 of the Code on VAT is revoked. This latter provision exempted from VAT the services provided by legal counsels. The applicants claim that the withdrawal of the exemption from VAT for the legal services provided by practicing lawyers constitutes a violation of the Belgian Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and article 47 of the EU Charter of fundamental rights, which lays down the right to an effective remedy and fair trial, including the right to legal aid. They argue that services by lawyers must remain financially accessible and that these services should not be compared with other services in respect of taxation because these services are of crucial importance in a rule-of-law state.