Melchior Wathelet

Melchior Wathelet

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Melchior H.M.J.F.C. Wathelet (born 6 March 1949) is a Belgian
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 politician and member of the Humanist Democratic Centre. He has degrees in law and in economics (University of Liège
University of Liège
The University of Liège , in Liège, Wallonia, Belgium, is a major public university in the French Community of Belgium. Its official language is French.-History:...

) and is a Master of Laws
Master of Laws
The Master of Laws is an advanced academic degree, pursued by those holding a professional law degree, and is commonly abbreviated LL.M. from its Latin name, Legum Magister. The University of Oxford names its taught masters of laws B.C.L...

 (Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

). He's also a professor at the Catholic University of Louvain and the Université de Liège. From 1995 to 2003 he was a Judge at the European Court of Justice
European Court of Justice
The Court can sit in plenary session, as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges, or in chambers of three or five judges. Plenary sitting are now very rare, and the court mostly sits in chambers of three or five judges...

.
As Justice Minister he had, according to David Canter
David Canter
David V. Canter is a psychologist. He began his career as an architectural psychologist studying the interactions between people and buildings, publishing and providing consultancy on the designs of offices, schools, prisons, housing and other building forms as well as exploring how people made...

, "encouraged the early release of many sex offenders" which included the later murder-convicted Marc Dutroux
Marc Dutroux
Marc Dutroux is a Belgian serial killer and child molester, convicted of having kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused six girls during 1995 and 1996, ranging in age from 8 to 19, four of whom he murdered. He was also convicted of having killed a suspected former accomplice, Bernard Weinstein,...

.

Political career

  • Member of the Chamber of Representatives (1977-1995)
  • Secretary of State
    Secretary of State
    Secretary of State or State Secretary is a commonly used title for a senior or mid-level post in governments around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple Secretaries of State in the Government....

     for Regional Economy of the Walloon Region
    Walloon Region
    The Walloon Region, commonly called Wallonia, is one of the three federal Regions of Belgium, and its capital is Namur. It comprises, as defined by Article 5 of the Constitution of Belgium, the provinces of Walloon Brabant, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg and Namur...

     (1980-1981)
  • Minister of New Technologies and SMEs of the Walloon Region
    Walloon Region
    The Walloon Region, commonly called Wallonia, is one of the three federal Regions of Belgium, and its capital is Namur. It comprises, as defined by Article 5 of the Constitution of Belgium, the provinces of Walloon Brabant, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg and Namur...

     (1981-1985)
  • Minister-President
    Minister-President
    A minister-president is the head of government in a number of European countries or subnational governments, in which a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of government prevails, who presides over the council of ministers...

     of the Walloon Region
    Walloon Region
    The Walloon Region, commonly called Wallonia, is one of the three federal Regions of Belgium, and its capital is Namur. It comprises, as defined by Article 5 of the Constitution of Belgium, the provinces of Walloon Brabant, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg and Namur...

     (1985-1988)
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice and Middle Classes (1988-1992)
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice and Economic Affairs (1992-1995)
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence (1995)
  • Mayor of Verviers
    Verviers
    Verviers is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Liège. The Verviers municipality includes the old communes of Ensival, Lambermont, Petit-Rechain, Stembert, and Heusy...

    (1995)