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On track to a modernised Belgian Civil Code

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Reform Belgian Civil Code

After 218 years, dating back to the Napoleonic era, we are on track to a modernised Belgian Civil Code. The extensive Civil Code reform aims to suit the needs of the modern society by codifying or modernising backbone rules of the laws of property, evidence, obligation and contracts.

In 2015, experts from the academic world were entrusted with the task of revamping the Civil Code around the following main characteristics:

  • To produce a new Civil Code that states in clear and simple language the rules governing private relations between citizens
  • To modernise legal concepts for the contemporary context and to get rid of outdated concepts
  • To produce a new Civil Code integrating all the dispersed laws and codifying the court-created civil rules, making the legal concepts more accessible, transparent and foreseeable.

The result is a new Civil Code. The current status is the following:


13 April 2019

Creation of a (new) Civil Code consisting of 9 Books and adoption of Book 8 (Evidence)


1 November 2020

Entry into force of Book 8 (Evidence)

4 February 2020

Adoption of Book 3 (Property law)


1 September 2021

Entry into force of Book 3 (Property law)


19 January 2022

Adoption of Book 2, section 3 (Patrimonial relations of couples) – Adoption of Book 4 (Inheritance, donations and wills)

28 April 2022

Adoption of Book 5 (Obligations) - Adoption of Book 1 (General provisions) – Modification of the Law of 13 april 2019 : the Civil Code includes now 10 Books

1 July 2022

Entry into force of Book 2, section 3 and of Book 4


1 January 2023

Entry into force of Book 5 and Book 1


Watch out

Book 6 : Non-contractual liability (Responsabilité extra-contractuelle – Buitencontractuele aansprakelijkheid)

Book 7 : Contracts

Book 9 : Securities (Sûretés – Zekerheden)

Book 10 : Prescription (Prescription – Verjaring)

Focus on Books 1 and 5

Book 1 only contains a dozen articles and is meant to be an introduction to the other nine books of the New Civil Code. Its field of application is very broad as it governs relationships between private persons and relationships between public legal persons and private persons if not subject to other legislations or to the rules of exercise of state authority.

Book 5 covers, completes and restructures Articles 1101 to 1369 of the old Civil Code (i.e. the law of obligations but not non-contractual liability). It includes 270 articles.

For you not to lose track while making your way through books 1 and 5, discover our useful tools below.

Seminar slides

Click below to download the slides of our workshop series on the modernised Belgian Civil Code.

*This content is available to clients subscribed to our Knowledge Portal.


Click below to download your copy of the Codex of Books 1, 3, 5 and 8 in Dutch and French.

Correlation Table

Download the correlation table in Dutch or French, or our bilingual version below.

Finding your way through Book 5

Want to track down the Dutch, French or English translation of useful terms in Book 5? Search no longer, and click below to discover our Dutch- and French-focussed guides.

Highlighted articles

To fast track your understanding of the legal text, we discuss several concepts and articles of Books 1 and 5 in the materials linked here 1.

Be up to date

Click below to stay on track with some quick updates.


Standard terms and exoneration of liability clauses

Stefaan Loosveld and Wannes Vandenbussche discuss how to approach transversal concepts such as general terms and conditions and the indemnity and exoneration of liability clauses in the new Civil Code.


Abuse of right and hardship

Florence Danis discusses some important changes the reform of the Belgian Civil Code brings, in particular in relation to the abuse of right and hardship.


Impact on your transactional practice

Listen to Jeremy Filbiche, Anastasia Koutra and Victor Burki and learn more about the new supplementary provisions that will have to be taken into account in the context of a merger and acquisition process.


Labour law

Nele Van Kerrebroeck zooms in on the impact of Book 1 on labour law, providing some concrete examples.

Media Hub

Discover in less than 20 minutes the salient points of the seminar workshops and of the Books of the New Civil Code adopted so far.

On track to a modernised Belgian Civil Code - Book 1

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On track to a modernised Belgian Civil Code - Book 3

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On track to a modernised Belgian Civil Code - Book 5

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On track to a modernised Belgian Civil Code - Book 8

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Key contacts

Please reach out to your usual Linklaters contact, should you have any questions.

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