The draft bill setting-up the Brussels International Business Court, a proposed specialized English language court for international business disputes (see ), was due to be sumitted to the Belgian House of Representatives at one of the latter’s last sessions before the legislative and European elections due to be held in Belgium on 26 May next.

However, the draft bill, which had been approved by the Parliamentary Justice Commission, was withdrawn at the last minute on the instructions of Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel. The explanation is that the NVA, the Flemish Nationalist Party, which is currently the single largest party in Belgium, no longer supports the draft bill.

The future of the project may now depend on the results of the forthcoming elections but the withdrawal of the bill will be a bitter disappointment for the project’s promoters and supporters, including the Federation of Enterprises in Belgium, who have been working on the proposal for a number of years.

By Charles Price & Sébastien Popijn