Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1566-7146
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1611



In Belgium, the administration of justice with regard to labour law is in the hands of specialised courts, staffed by a combination of professional and lay judges. This has historical roots. An important step in the evolution of these courts is the establishment of the ‘werkrechtersraden van beroep’ (‘conseils de prud’hommes d’appel’). From their creation in 1913 until their reform in 1967, these councils were the highest authority in Belgium to settle disputes on the work floor and consequently the highest interpreter of labour legislation. The institution constantly balanced on the remarkable interface between law and labour. In this contribution, a fact check is carried out to see how this balance worked in practice. An exceptional episode are the periods in which this system was placed under tension. Therefore, this contribution pays special attention to the case law pronounced by the of Ghent in the crisis-ridden period 1935-1950.


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