“A catastrophic situation”: Belgian justice paralyzed by a computer failure

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The Belgian courts were affected by a major computer failure this Friday, February 14 in the morning. The problem made it impossible to access several documents and forced, among other things, the judges to write their arrest warrants by hand, writes Le Soir.

The Belgian courts were affected this Friday, February 14 in the morning by a general breakdown of the IT service which was not resolved until around 11:30 am, reports The evening.

For several hours, the functioning of the various jurisdictions of the country has been disrupted because of the breakdown caused by a momentary deficiency of a server, writes the daily, which specifies that several documents necessary for the taking of order of maintenance in detention have been inaccessible to the instruction chambers. The judges also had to write their arrest warrants by hand.

“There are decisions that must be made this morning, otherwise we will see procedural problems arise and be forced to note that the deadlines for renewing detention have not been respected,” said the official. in the newspaper a magistrate of a Court of Appeal.

A long-standing problem

In a commentary given to the daily, the same magistrate declared that it was about “a catastrophic situation” which once again highlighted the need for the old computer forensics preventing the interaction between different jurisdictions.

Le Soir also recalls that this problem had already been mentioned in an open letter addressed to parliamentarians and to the King by the parents of Julie Van Espen, the young woman murdered in Antwerp in May 2019 by a repeat sex offender. They then noted the incompatibility of the IT departments of Justice between them, which hampered the rapid transmission of information to the various parties involved in a criminal case.

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