What are the High Council of Justice’s supervisory powers?

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The CSJ’s legal means of supervision

The High Council of Justice, a body that is independent of the judicial, legislative and executive powers, was established as an instrument for the permanent supervision of the operation of the judiciary.

The duties entrusted to the High Council of Justice, namely handling complaints, conducting audits and special inquiries within the judiciary, are intended to help the High Council to contribute to a better administration of Justice, in the interests of citizens. Other than this independent supervision, the Council can also systematically monitor the use of internal control mechanisms within the judiciary.

This independent supervision is implemented by the Advisory and Investigation Committees – the French-language committee (CAE) and the Dutch-language committee (AOC - "Advies- en onderzoekscommissie") – and the Joint Advisory and Investigation Committee (JAIC).

No interference in judicial decision-making

The particularly sensitive nature of this supervisory role is obvious in that the High Council is required, pursuant to article 151 of the Constitution, to respect the independence of the members of the judiciary. Therefore, the content of judicial decisions is not subject to its scrutiny.


When, within the framework of its missions, the High Council of Justice notes a malfunctioning within the Justice system, it can refer the matter to the competent disciplinary authorities and ask them to examine whether it is appropriate to institute disciplinary proceedings against the party concerned.

The disciplinary authorities must inform the High Council of Justice how they have dealt with the matter and explain the reasons for their decision.