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Out with the old and in with the new! After 214 years, the Belgian federal government has decided to update the Civil Code. 

The reform will extend to the four main parts of the code, i.e. contract law, tort law, property law and the rules on evidence in civil matters.
Given the sheer number of modifications and changes that will be ushered in, NautaDutilh will publish a series of articles covering various aspects of the reform and the progress of the reform. 

Guiding principles

The three guiding principles behind the reform are (i) continuity, (ii) modernity and (iii) accessibility. 

  1. Continuity: The reform does not represent a clean break with the past. Rather many provisions of the Civil Code will be maintained. In addition, a majority of the new provisions will simply codify accepted case law and literature. 
  2. Modernity: As the Civil Code is 214 years old, the government wishes to do away with outdated provisions and insert new, more relevant provisions (such as the possibility to conclude agreements by electronic means). Modernity also implies providing new solutions to existing issues.
  3. Accessibility: The government wants to make the Civil Code more accessible by adding definitions and giving each chapter a clear structure. The numbering of the Civil Code will be completely overhauled, meaning our beloved Article 1382 will become a thing of the past.

NautaDutilh Brussels has set up a dedicated team to ensure that any questions you might have about the Reform are answered as soon as possible. The team consists of Didier De Vliegher, Louise-Anne Bertin, Yannick Smet, Aurélie Dupuis, Léonard Maistriaux and Pierre-Alexandre Fassin.

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