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Tijdschrift Netherlands Administrative Law Library x

    The codification of policy rules is based on the assumption that public authorities will adopt their policy in policy rules and that judges will use these policy rules when assessing individual decisions. However, codification might have side effects, like the existence of rules that do not meet the criteria of policy rules. This article examines the extent to which the objectives of the legislator have been achieved. It is concluded that public bodies indeed adopt policy rules more and more, but that these rules do not always meet the standards. Administrative courts appear to use rules when assessing decisions, but do not seem to follow the scheme as laid down in the GALA. The codification resulted in a complexity of rules, but this complexity does not hamper judicial review. After all: the judicial review is centered on the individual decision, not so much on the nature of the applied rule.


Albertjan Tollenaar Ph.D.

    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

    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.

    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.

    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.
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