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Today, the entire legal profession mourns with Mr Van der Stichelen's family.

With horror, learns of the violent death of mr Claudia Van der Stichelen in Sint-Lievens-Houtem and the shooting of her son. We extend our condolences to all the victim's loved ones.

Our thoughts are first and foremost with Mr.Van der Stichelen's husband who is also a lawyer. We hope their son will recover soon.

If the investigation shows that Mr Van der Stichelen was shot because she is a lawyer, that is particularly bad. It shows that the legal profession has become dangerous and that lawyers are vulnerable targets.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time lawyers have been attacked for being lawyers. Now it is happening with fatal results. This vulnerability must be recognised but should never be accepted. Threats against lawyers must be taken seriously.

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