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Belgium / Council of State / 237.723

Hugo Bogaerts, Kristien Roelants, Lin Ploegaert, Marina Apers, Marc van Damme v Belgium

Policy area:
Deciding Body type:
National Court/Tribunal
Deciding Body:
Council of State
Decision date:

Key facts of the case: 

A Royal Decree of 30 January 2014 changed the costs of joint petitions to the Council of State. Whereas petitioners previously only had to pay one fee, the Royal Decree put down that each petitioner had to pay the fee. In their second plea, the requesting parties allege violation of the right of access to a judge and the right to an effective remedy before a tribunal. The requesting parties invoked Articles 23, 144, 145, 160 and 161 of the Constitution, Articles 6 and 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, Article 9 of the Aarhus Convention, Article 9 and 11 of Directive 2011/92 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment.

Outcome of the case: 

The Council of States considered that the cumulative fee does not constitute a prohibitive cost, because the Council of State can reduce the fee for persons in need. Therefore, there is no violation of the right of access to a judge.