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Gerechtelijke nationale cultuur en haar blinde vlek: de mercuriales en gelegenheidsredes van Charles Faider als procureur-generaal bij het Hof van Cassatie (1871–1885)

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image of Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis / Revue d'Histoire du Droit / The Legal History Review

This article sketches the attitude of the Belgian liberal magistrate and politician Charles Faider towards the constitutional civil liberties and freedoms. One can discover an interesting paradox by comparing his opening speeches and his acts as a politician. In the speeches he gave as procureur-général at the Cour de cassation, Faider consequently emphasised the beneficiary effects of the liberal 1831 Belgian Constitution. In his discourse, the Belgian magistrates were the best guards of the splendid future of the nation, because they fully understood the age-old national tradition of civil liberties. However, as a politician, he did not hesitate to limit the constitutional rights and liberties. Due to the political pressure of Napoleon III, he limited the freedom of the press by outlawing insulting foreign heads of state. The gap between his discourse and his practice is the perfect expression of an interesting paradox: in the 19th-century Belgian nation state, liberty and national identity profoundly influenced each other, but at the same time restricted their mutual possibilities, because the overall image of a free but responsable nation had to be maintained.

Affiliations: 1: Kortrijk


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