Prosopography of the Belgian Magistrates


Please only use Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome to access the application (not Internet Explorer or Safari)

Belgian Magistrates is a prosopographical database and a repository of Belgian and colonial magistrates. It contains detailed biographical profiles of judges who exercised functions throughout the history of Belgium.

This application has 4 main features:

(1) Generation of biographical sheets of magistrates and their collaborators (data categorised in 5 types: personal, socioprofessional, relational, political and intellectual data).

(2) Synchronic and diachronic view of jurisdictions. On top of the jurisdiction’s identity sheet (creation date, suppression date (if applicable), competences, related legal sources, etc.), the application locates the institution in the judicial pyramid at the user’s desired time, on a specific date or over a certain time period. In the latter possibility, the application takes into account the possible changes of judicial districts during the given period by distinguishing the different possible incorporation scenarios. The same dynamic principle is applied to the status of existing positions within the jurisdiction and to their evolution over time (staff numbers, new position, new job name, etc.).

(3) A detailed study of each judicial appointment. Each appointment is considered individually, enabling users to look up the identity of the candidates (a comparison of their age and their years of service at the time of their appointment is automatically generated) as well as their assessments at different moments in their career. Presentations that were given prior to some appointments are also studied.

(4) The inventory of the source for each information contained in the database and the published publications by or related to the magistrates.

The Database covers three important historical areas of Belgian Magistracy

  • The foundations of the Magistracy during the French Revolution and the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1795-1830)
  • The Magistracy of the Belgian State: ordinary and military (1830-1914)
  • The expansion of Belgian rule of law in Africa (1885-1908)

To date, the following data have been entered into the database:

  • 6373 people (including 4555 magistrates)
  • 851 jurisdictions
  • 142 judicial appointments
  • and more than 5000 references to sources
Data Years Covered
French Magistrates 1795-1814
Belgian Magistrates (justice of the peace) 1830-1914
Belgian Magistrates (district courts) 1830-1939
Belgian Magistrates (courts of appeal) 1830-1939
Belgian Magistrates (Court of cassation)


Belgian Magistrates (military jurisdictions) 1830-1914
Colonial Magistrates In progress
French jurisdictions 1795-1814
Belgian jurisdictions 1830-2015
Colonial jurisdictions (ordinary and military) In progress









Belgian Magistrates is funded by Belgian FRS-FNRS and Belspo (IAP 6/1 Justice & Society and 7/22 Justice & Population)



Picture: ©Court of Cassation (Belgium). From links to right: Arthur Goddyn (1865-1938), First President of the Court of Cassation, Paul Leclercq (1863-1944), Public Prosecutor at the Court of Cassation, and Jean Servais (1856-1946), Public Prosecutor at the Brussels Court of Appeal

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 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