Historical survey

Set up shortly after the independence of Belgium, the Court of Audit is one of the oldest public institutions of the country.

On 30 December 1830, the National Congress voted the Decree establishing the Court of Audit, the first members of which were appointed on 5 and 6 January 1831. The College came officially sworn in on 15 January 1831. The existence of the new institution was finally confirmed by article 116 of the Constitution adopted on 7 February 1831 (which has become article 180 of the actual Constitution). The 1830 Decree was replaced on 29 October 1846 by the law organising the Court of Audit, which has been amended several times ever since.

The Court of Audit dates back to the times of the Dukes of Burgundy. Although there was already a Chamber of Accounts in the County of Flanders before the 14th century, the first one with a regular organisation was set up in 1386 by the Duke of Burgundy and Count of Flanders, Philip the Bold. It was established in Lille and its powers extended progressively to the county of Namur, the County of Hainaut and the Tournaisis as a result of the successive territorial annexations by the Dukes of Burgundy. By letters of patent dated of the 20th February 1406, Antoine of Burgundy, son of the previous duke and heir of Brabant and Limbourg, set up the Chamber of Accounts of Brabant, on the model of that of Burgundy. Entrusted with the monitoring and the closing of the accounts of all paymasters of the duchy, it first had its seat in the ducal palace where it stayed until the end of the 18th century in a building near the palace situated on the place where the current offices of the Court of Audit were established in 1984.