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    The contribution assesses Germany’s better regulation system as quality assurance system. At first, the paper outlines the development of the system over the last years and describes its main characteristics. The introduction of the Nationaler Normenkontrollrat (National Regulatory Control Council) in 2006 can be seen as a cornerstone in this respect. The competency of the National Regulatory Control Council was extended in 2011 and a new concept of cost measurement of regulatory costs - compliance costs - was introduced. The new concept captures not only the costs arising from information obligations, but all compliance costs of a regulation. Secondly, the paper discusses the challenges to the better regulation system, in particular, those due to Germany’s federal structure providing in most legislative areas for a separation of actual law making at the federal level and execution of laws by the German Länder (and their municipalities).


Dirk Zeitz
Research Fellow at Deutsches Forschungsinstitut für öffentliche Verwaltung (FÖV).Contact details: Freiherr-vom-Stein-Str. 2, 67346 Speyer, Email: zeitz@foev-speyer.de, Phone: +49 (0)6232 654-301.

    In the theory, legislation and practice of regulation and conduct of administrative procedures, trends towards the concept of good administration can be detected at both supra- and national levels. Based on normative and comparative-legal analyses of Slovene (1999), Croatian (2009) and the EP Resolution (2013) administrative procedure acts (APAs), the article identifies user-oriented institutions that pursue the principles of good administration. Furthermore, it examines acceleration and braking mechanisms that influence the duration of procedures (e.g. setting and shortening time limits, positive fiction, preclusions, and enforcement of procedural errors, broader participation of affected parties, legal protection). Timely and efficient decision-making viewed as a human right with balanced protection of public and private legal interests is in fact crucial for achieving good administration. Hence, in conclusion, the authors propose selected changes de lege ferenda for the reregulation of APAs in Slovenia and beyond, in support of less excessive length of procedures.


Tina Sever

Polonca Kovac

    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.

    Soft law is a necessity in modern public administration. On the verge of public bodies that execute administrative tasks various forms of soft law are applied. This article explores the many shapes of soft law in a continental European context. This results in the identification of a series of variables that are relevant for the legal effects of soft law. The article further focuses on the way policy rules, as a special form of soft law, are treated in the Dutch legislation.


Ph.D. Albertjan Tollenaar
University of Groningen Assistant Professor Department of Administrative Law and Public Administration
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