Fiches Belges
Measure Implementation
Measure possibility

Legal Framework
Applicable Framework

Competent authority
Request/decision
Execute/recognise measure

Accepted Languages
Languages

Execution Deadline
Deadlines

Legal info
Special requirements
Other information

Fiches Belges: Belgium

Hearing children (705)

1. MEASURE IMPLEMENTATION

Belgium

Is this measure possible in your Member State under International Judicial Cooperation?

Yes. The hearing of victims or witnesses under the age of 18 of certain offences, namely hostage taking, indecent assault, rape, prostitution, incitement to debauchery, affront to public decency, child pornography, grooming, voluntary manslaughter not qualifying as murder and voluntary bodily injury, mutilation, failure to render assistance, child neglect or abandonment, deprivation of food or care, the abduction and concealment of minors are in principle audiorecorded. During the hearing, the minor is in principle permitted to be accompanied by a person of his or her choice. Article 92 of the Criminal Investigation Code provides for the possibility of ordering the hearing to be recorded in order to spare the minor from having to make potentially traumatising appearances before the examining and the ruling courts. This measure is subject to the prior consent of minors over the age of 12.

2. LEGAL FRAMEWORK

Belgium

International legal framework applicable for this measure in your Member State

European Convention on mutual assistance in criminal matters of 20th April 1959; Convention of 29 May 2000 on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union and its Protocol of 16th octobre 2001

3. COMPETENT AUTHORITY TO:

Belgium

* receive the request/decision for judicial cooperation

The letter of request has to be sent to the local public prosecutor's office of the geographical area where the investigating measure has to be executed. if this area is not known, the letter of request has to be sent to the federal prosecutor's office - section of international cooperation.

* execute/recognise the measure (if other than the receiving authority)

N/A

4. ACCEPTED LANGUAGES

Belgium

Accepted languages for the request/decision

Dutch, French and German Important remarks: before the execution, the letter of request will be translated by the Belgian prosecutor if the language is not the language of the judicial area where the letter of request has to be executed. It is recommended, when possible, to obtain previously the information about the correct language.

5. EXECUTION DEADLINE

Belgium

Deadlines for the execution of the request/decision (where applicable)

There is no specific deadline foreseen by the Belgian law for the execution of letters of request. If the requested deadline cannot been respected the requesting state will be informed accordingly.

6. CONCISE LEGAL PRACTICAL INFORMATION

Belgium

a. Special requirements

Content of the international letters rogatory: at least Article 14 of the 1959 Convention It is important to indicate in the letter of request the requested formal procedure needed by the requesting judicial authority to ensure the legality of the hearing (oath, presence of parents, presence of defence lawyer,...).

b. Other useful information

The presence of the requesting judicial authority and/or investigators can be allowed; this has to be requested explicitely in the letter of request. The recorded hearing takes place at a specially adapted premises and the examiner explains to the minor the reasons why he or she wishes to proceed with the audiovisual recording of the hearing. He or she informs the minor that he or she can ask him or her to stop the hearing at any time. In principle, the minor has the right to receive a copy of the transcript of his or her hearing. If, however, there is a risk that he or she could be dispossessed of it or would not be able to protect its personal nature, the prosecutor or the investigating judge can refuse to issue it to the minor.

Last reviewed on 3 March 2017 by EJN Secretariat

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