relating to certain aspects of the laws on the use of languages in Belgium
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In the case "relating to certain aspects of the laws on the use of languages in education in Belgium", The European Court of Human Rights, taking its decision in plenary session in accordance with Rule 48 of the Rules of Court, and composed of the following Judges: Mr. R. CASSIN, President, and MM. A. HOLMBÄCK, A. VERDROSS, G. MARIDAKIS, E. RODENBOURG, A. ROSS, T. WOLD, G. BALLADORE PALLIERI, H. MOSLER, M. ZEKIA, A. FAVRE, J. CREMONA, Sir HUMPHREY WALDOCK, G. WIARDA, Mr. A. MAST, Judge ad hoc, and also Mr. H. GOLSONG, Registrar, and Mr. M.-A. EISSEN, Deputy Registrar Decides as follows concerning the merits of the case: PROCEDURE 1. By a request dated 25th June 1965, the European Commission of Human Rights (hereinafter referred to as "the Commission") brought before the Court a case relating to certain aspects of the laws on the use of languages in education in Belgium. The origins of this case lie in six applications against the Kingdom of Belgium lodged with the Commission under Article 25 (art. 25) of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (hereinafter referred to as "the Convention"). These applications, the first of which was deposited on 16th June 1962 and the last on 28th January 1964 were submitted by inhabitants of Alsemberg and Beersel, Kraainem, Antwerp and environs, Ghent and environs, Louvain and environs and Vilvorde. 2. The Belgian Government, Party, raised a preliminary objection which was rejected by the Court in a judgment on 9th February 1967. That judgment includes a summary of proceedings prior to its delivery. 3. On 9th February 1967, the President of the Court ascertained the views of the Agent for the Belgian Government, and of the Delegates of the Commission, on the procedure to be followed concerning the merits of the case. By an Order of the same date he decided, in pursuance of Rules 35 (1) and 48 (3) of the Rules of Court: - that the Belgian Government would have until 1st May 1967 to file a first memorial; - that the Commission would be entitled to file a memorial in reply within the two months following the receipt of the memorial of the Government; - that the Belgian Government would have, in order to file a second and last memorial, until 15th September 1967. Both time-limits set for the Belgian Government were extended to, respectively, 10th May 1967 (Order of 26th April) and 2nd October 1967 (Order of 2nd September). 4. The Belgian Government's first memorial was received by the Registry of the Court on 9th May 1967, the Commission's memorial on 12th July 1967 and the Government's second memorial on 2nd October 1967. 5. On 6th June 1967, the Secretary of the Commission informed the Registrar that the Commission had instructed its President, Mr. M. Sørensen, to represent it as principal Delegate in subsequent proceedings before the Court, Mr. S. Petrén having been relieved of this function at his own request. 6. By a letter of 22nd November 1967, the Belgian Government informed the President of the Court that it had appointed Mr. A. de Granges de Surgères as its Agent to replace Mr. A. Gomrée, deceased. 7. In accordance with an Order made by the President of the Court on 7th October 1967, a public hearing was opened in Strasbourg on 25th November 1976 in the Human Rights Building; the hearing continued on 27th, 29th and 30th November. There appeared before the Court: - for the Commission: Mr M. SØRENSEN, Principal Delegate, assisted by: Mr. G. JANSSEN-PEVTSCHIN and Mr. F. WELTER, Delegates; - for the Belgian Government: Mr. A. DE GRANGES DE SURGÈRES, Directeur général de l'administration de la Législation at the Belgian Ministry of Justice, Agent, assisted by: Me. A. BAYART, Barrister at the Belgian Court of Cassation, Counsel,







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