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Peer_reviewedAccess_open The way to mediation in Belgian administrative procedural law

Tijdschrift Netherlands Administrative Law Library, februari 2016
Auteurs Lise Vandenhende, Brecht Warnez en Prof.dr. Ludo Veny
Samenvatting

    Given the rise of mediation in other legal disciplines and the influence of the EU, the call for mediation is increasing in Belgian administrative practice. Several years ago, the legislature took the first steps towards mediation in the judicial administrative procedure. This contribution is a study of the existing forms of mediation with its limitations and possibilities. Taking these findings into account, a possible mediation framework, applicable in the Belgian legal system, is proposed.


Lise Vandenhende

Brecht Warnez

Prof.dr. Ludo Veny

    This article examines the subsidy rules as they have developed since the introduction of the subsidy title into the General Administrative Law Act (GALA) fifteen years ago. What did experts at that time consider to be the most important parts of the subsidy title and what were their expectations in that regard? We will consider, for certain selected topics, which main developments have taken place in legal practice over the past fifteen years, based mainly on an analysis of the case law. The most important features and trends will be outlined in this article. Finally, we will consider whether these features and trends can teach us anything about (the development of) the GALA that may still be relevant for the legislator today, when designing general rules of administrative law.


Rianne Jacobs
Rianne Jacobs is raadadviseur bij de Directie Wetgeving van het Ministerie van V&J

Willemien den Ouden
Willemien den Ouden is hoogleraar bestuursrecht aan de Universiteit Leiden

    Article 3:41 General administrative law act reads: Orders which are addressed to one or more interested parties shall be notified by being sent or issued to these, including the applicant. If an order cannot be notified in that manner, it shall be notified in any other suitable way. This article examines the extent of 'any other suitable way' and whether the objectives of the legislator have been achieved.


Rolf Ortlep
Rolf Ortlep is verbonden aan het Montaigne Centrum voor Rechtspleging en Conflictoplossing van de Universiteit Utrecht.

    This contribution scrutinizes the effect of the General Administrative Act (Algemene wet bestuursrecht) on the doctrine of administrative supervision (bestuurlijk toezicht), especially on the (governmental) power of spontaneous annulment (spontane vernietigingsrecht) towards local authorities. In 1998 the legal provisions concerning administrative supervision have been transferred from the Local Government Act (Gemeentewet) to the General Administrative Act. Since then the doctrine was subject to several major changes, from which the 2006 Policy document on spontaneous annulment (Beleidskader spontane vernietiging) and the 2012 Act on re-vitalizing general supervision (Wet revitalisering generiek toezicht) are the most important. The provisions from the General Administrative Act concerning administrative supervision have hardly been changed; case law concerning spontaneous annulment mainly concerned the interpretation of the Policy documents. The provisions regarding administrative supervision and laid down in the General Administrative Act, can therefore be seen as of constant value of administrative supervision.


Mr. Hansko Broeksteeg
Mr. Broeksteeg is universitair hoofddocent Staatsrecht aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.

    If two or more educational institutions intend to merge, such institutions must obtain approval from the Minister of Education prior to merging in accordance with the “Educational Merger test Act” (Wet fusietoets onderwijs) which came into force on 1 October 2011. Since then, further to the implementation of the Educational Merger test Act, the Minister of Education has taken several decisions on merger requests from educational institutions. Prior to delivering a decision on a merger request the Minister of Education is advised by its advisory committee ("Adviescommissie fusietoets onderwijs"). This article describes and analyses the legal framework put into place be the Educational Merger test Act. It further analyses the functioning of the Act in its first year of existence and proposes solutions for problems found. The article in this respect focuses on the advice of the advisory committee.


T. Barkhuysen
Tom Barkhuysen is advocaat-partner bij Stibbe te Amsterdam en hoogleraars Staats- en bestuursrecht aan de Universiteit Leiden

Machteld Claessens
Machteld Claessens is advocaat bij Stibbe te Amsterdam.

    The legislator deliberately created a more restrained compensation duty for the legal costs made in the objection procedure, than for the costs made in the appeal procedure. According to article 7:15 of the Dutch General Administrative Law Act, solely the legal costs made in the objection procedure are reimbursed at the request of the stakeholder, as far as the contested decision is revoked by reason of the tort due to the administration. The administration decides on this request when deciding on the objection. There are several disadvantages to this. That is particularly the case, when the stakeholder has lost his interest in the revocation of the contested decision during the procedure, and he solely wants his costs, made in the objection procedure, reimbursed. This raises the question of whether it would be better to regulate the legal costs made in the objection procedure in the same way as the legal costs made in the appeal procedure.


Inge van der Veen

    This article examines the actual application of European administrative soft law in light of the Dutch principle of legality. European administrative soft law is not legally binding. However, European administrative soft law can generate judicial binding effects for the Member States on the basis of the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice. Moreover, the research on the actual application of administratice soft law in the field of European subsidies shows that it can also have a 'de facto' binding effect for the Member Sates.

    The (legal and actual) binding effects of European administrative soft law are problematic in light of the principle of legality, according to which binding norms must be laid down in hard law. The article argues that with the application of administrative soft law, three functions of the principle of legality (the principle provides legal certainty and legitimacy and serves as a safeguard against public authorities) are not sufficiently met. Several possible solutions that may resolve this tension are proposed.


Claartje van Dam
Claartje van Dam is masterstudent Staats- en Bestuursrecht aan de Universiteit Leiden.

    This article examines the impact of the introduction of the Schutznorm-principle (relativiteitsvereiste) in the Dutch General Administrative Law Act on the private enforcement of state aid law. This principle prohibits the administrative courts to annul a decision if the ground manifestly does not protect the complainants interests. Court decisions are examined to research the role of individuals in the private enforcement of state aid law. These individuals often have no competitive relation with the (alleged) beneficiary of the aid. However, presumably the Schutznorm-principle will not hinder them from annulling the decision because the Schutznorm-principle requires clarity regarding the scope of the provision invoked. Article 108 TFEU lacks this clarity. Based on possibilities of appeal against Commissions decisions and case law of the EU CoJ on this matter, the author argues that not every individual needs to be able to invoke state aid provisions.


Matthijs Baart
Matthijs Baart LLM is onderzoek- en onderwijsmedewerker aan de Universiteit Leiden

    In its Betfair judgment, the Court of Justice ruled that the exclusive license system with respect to games of chance under Dutch law breaches Article 49 of the EC, now: Article 56 of the TFEU, concerning the free movement of services, and in particular the principle of equal treatment and the obligation of transparency. This article addresses the lessons which can be drawn from this judgement and which Dutch legal concepts could be applied to this 'European' obligation of transparency. According to the judgement, this is not only the case for 'public contracts'and 'concessions', but also to licenses under public law. This article addresses the meaning of these legal concepts and discusses to what extent this 'European' obligation of transparency applies to the relevant Dutch legal concepts.


Annemarie Drahmann
Annemarie Drahmann is promovenda aan de afdeling staats- en bestuursrecht van de Universiteit Leiden en senior Professional Support Lawyer bij Stibbe.

    This publication discusses all aspects of causal connection between damages and unlawful governmental decisions.


Laura Di Bella
: Laura Di Bella is als PhD. fellow verbonden aan de afdeling Staats- en bestuursrecht van de Universiteit Leiden. Zij doet onderzoek naar de bijzondere positie van de overheid in het onrechtmatigedaadsrecht.
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