Research areas


In 2018, approximately 3.4 million legal proceedings within the European Union had a cross-border dimension. The European Union has an undeniable influence on Belgian procedural law. The focus is in particular on:

  • Cross-border service of documents;
  • The European Account Preservation Order;
  • Representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers;
  • The impact of the case law of the Court of Justice on national procedural law

The empirical study of the justice system

Proceduralists often debate what procedures our civil justice system have or ought to have. We do not, however, sufficiently ask what these rules and procedures do in the real world of courts. This line of research aims to fill this gap:

  • The admissibility procedure within the administrative cassation system of the Council of State;
  • The effect of the appeal;

A principle-based approach to procedural law:

Belgian procedural law is under serious strain. The many changes made by the legislator in recent years have left this area of the law in a state of fragmentation. This research proposes to take a step back and offers a principles-based approach instead. The focus is in particular on:

  • The identification of the guiding principles of Belgian civil procedure;
  • The principle of loyalty in procedural and evidence law

The role of judges and procedural law

This research area focuses on examining the complex and multifaceted relationship between judges and the procedures that govern legal proceedings. Two ongoing projects explore this dynamic:

  • The direct and indirect influence of judges on the rules or procedures in civil proceedings;
  • The role of the judge and the subject of the legal action.

Special subject matters:

The Judicial Code was introduced to create rules of civil procedure which are universally applicable to all types of cases. However, the question arises whether the emergence of specialized procedures is threatening the universality and uniformity of civil procedure. The focus is in particular on:

  • The justification for special rules in consumer law;
  • Tackling systemic discrimination

Adjudicating cases versus solving disputes:

Traditional court proceedings are only one of the many possibilities for parties to solve their dispute. In addition, when studying procedural law, it is no longer possible to disregards the human aspects of a dispute. The focus is in particular on:

  • The amicable resolution of commercial disputes (including the settlement chamber in corporate courts);
  • The multitude of ADR techniques and their interrelation;
  • The role of admission of fault and apologies in civil proceedings 

Research Projects

Ongoing PhD Research

  • Elise Dauw: De rechter en het voorwerp van de vordering
  • Max De Schryver: De regulering van de vorm en inhoud van processtukken, gekaderd binnen de ontwikkelingen in het burgerlijk procesrecht
  • Isabelle Dupré: De financiering van hoven en rechtbanken en het recht op een onafhankelijke rechter in België
  • Joke Torreele: De toelaatbaarheidsprocedure binnen het administratief cassatiecontentieux van de Raad van State
  • Claudia Van Severen: De (proces)partij in het civiele geding.

Defended doctorats