Just-His Repository: a bibliography of the history of law and justice in Belgium


The E-prints repository "Just-his.be" aims to make available to the scientific community, the general public, the judiciary and the authorities, a maximum of documentary, archival and bibliographic resources about the socio-political history of law and justice in Belgium from 1795 to the present, as well as in the former Belgian colonies (Congo, Rwanda and Burundi). Since the Belgian territories were submitted to French rule in 1795, and to Dutch rule between 1815 and 1830, interesting references with respect to the history of justice in these countries are also available / being integrated.

Preliminary knowledge of Belgian Justice

For an introductory overview of the institutional organization, competences, and published and unpublished sources of the Belgian Federal Department of Justice and the Belgian judicial system, please read the articles below. These overviews can help you along your search in the Just-his.be research repository.

About the Belgian Federal Department of Justice (“FOD Justitie/SPF Justice”):

About the Belgian judicial system:

For additional information, also check:

  • The website of the Belgian Federal Department of Justice
  • Dirk Heirbaut, Xavier Rousseaux, Karel Velle (eds.), Politieke en sociale geschiedenis van justitie in België van 1830 tot heden/ Histoire politique et sociale de la justice en Belgique de 1830 à nos jours, Brugge, La Charte/Die Keure, 2004, 444 p.

Type of references and kinds of documentary resources

  • The repository contains, in some cases, a digital copy of the document (as pdf, text or image). Some documents have been subject to OCR (optical character recognition), which allows querying their full-text. The digital copy is freely downloadable. Some of these resources, however, have restricted access because of editorial rights issues or because they are being used for academic research that is still in progress. If you wish to obtain access to these resources, please contact us, and explain the research project requiring access.
  • In other cases, internet links, mentioned in the field "related URL", direct you to other web resources where you can find and access at least a part of the document. The e-prints search engines can not directly query their content. Further, we are not responsible for address changes in the pages of these other web resources.
  • Finally, in most cases, the repository only provides the bibliographic or archival reference describing the document - as completely as possible. Apart from some exceptions, the exact location of the documentary resources is not specified. In order to find this location, please consult the catalogues of the university libraries in Belgium (among others Boreal, Library of UGent, Libis), the Catalogue of the Royal Library of Belgium, or the shared catalogue of the libraries of the Federal Public services.
  • As a reminder: when available, abstracts of the documents are being provided.When searched by e-prints search engines, these metadata also offer interesting possibilities for querying the repository.

Encoded content and resources

The resources currently encoded in the e-prints repository are:

A retrospective overview of legal, practical and scientific bibliographies on the history of law and justice in Belgium. Note in particular the systematic encoding of the bibliographic information contained in

  • Rousseaux Xavier, Bilan critiques et historiographiques en histoire contemporaine, n°23-24 des Cahiers du Centre de recherches en histoire du droit et des institutions, Bruxelles, 2005.
  • Rousseaux Xavier, Tixhon Axel, Essai bibliographique sur l’histoire des polices dans l’espace belge, in Campion Jonas (ed.), Les archives des polices en Belgique. Des méconnues de la recherche, Bruxelles, AGR/PAI, 2009, pp. 133-146.
  • Velle Karel, Recht en gerecht. Bibliografische inleiding tot het institutioneel onderzoek van de rechterlijke macht (1796-1994), Bruxelles, AGR, 1994. [in progress]
Belgian civil and penal law codes and various statutory instruments, specific collections of legislation (issued during the World Wars, ...) [scanned]
The Ministry of Justice Circulars issued between 1795 and 1970 [full-text]
The inaugural addresses held in the superior courts in Belgium from 1832 to 1914 (the Courts of Appeal of Brussels, Ghent and Liege, and the Court of Cassation) [full-text]
The Revue Belge de police judiciaire et administrative between 1881 and 1939 [full-text]
Various articles and research tools, archival guides on the history of law and justice in Belgium [full text]. Various scientific articles on the history of law and justice in Belgium [scanned]


Search modes of the "Just-his.be" research repository

  • Simple and Advanced Search: Besides the usual "simple search" and "advanced search" functions, different other searches are possible in Just-his.be. To ensure you get the most complete results on your area of interest, it may be useful to combine several search methods. The "simple search" and "advanced search" functions allow you to search across all of the metadata encoded, or in the full-text when available. These functions thus yield the richest results. The possibilities for searches by keyword are constantly being refined, reference by reference. As far as possible, keywords are encoded in French, English and Dutch. Besides the personal names and place names, a thesaurus of keywords used (deliberately kept summary) is available to guide you in your searches. It is possible to combine several keywords, by selecting the appropriate option in the query form ("all of"). Given the subjective nature of the classification, it is not recommended to use this single search method only. In addition, it is possible to use the following search functions [in the menu bar]:
  • Browse by Subject: The 'Subject' search is done via a hierarchical list or ‘tree’ of all the subject areas related to the history of law and justice in Belgium from 1795 to the present. Scroll down the list and then click once on the subject of your choice. The list consists of nine main chapters that each contain 4 levels of subheadings, in order to provide the most comprehensive and logical overview possible of the history of justice in Belgium. Each of the encoded references is classified at one or more levels, to facilitate searches that combine geographical, thematic and chronological approaches, for example. In the list of subject areas, subheadings only appear when at least one reference has been encoded at their level. Since the encoding is partly subjective, it is useful to conduct multiple searches from different angles.
  • Browse by author: Incorporates both individual authors ("creator") and scientific editors ("editor"). On the contrary, producers of archival records and institutional authors ("corporate creator") are not included in the list. A search on this specific field is then required.
  • Browse by year: Incorporates the year of publication / creation / writing of the references. Pay attention, for some references that include time intervals (journal series, for example), only the starting date of the publication will be included in the date field. The interval will then be mentioned in the field "additional information".

Just-His.be is funded by Belgian FRS-FNRS and Belspo (IAP 6/1 Justice & Society and 7/22 Justice & Populations)

Picture: ©Cegesoma, image nr°180377: Deutsche Arbeitsfront (DAF) : feature on the library at the disposal of the company staff [1940-1945]

The Interuniversity Attraction Pole P7/22 "Justice & Populations: The Belgian Experience in International Perspective, 1795-2015" (BeJust 2.0) is part of the Interuniversity Attraction Poles Programme Phase VII (2012-2017), financed by the Belgian Science Policy Office of the Belgian State.

The IAP VII/22 Justice & Populations www.bejust.be is the outcome of a collaboration between the Cegesoma, the IAP coordination team (CHDJ-UCL) and the Royal Military Academy. Design: tangografix. Powered by Drupal