Billiet, 2016a

Carole M. Billiet, Bestuurlijke geldboeten en de toets van de rechter: brede schets met klemtoon op omgevingsrecht [Administrative fines and the judge’s control: general sketch with accents on environmental and land use law], in Johan Vande Lanotte, Jurgen Goossens & Pieter Cannoot (eds.), Rechtsbescherming in het publiekrecht: kan er nog gebouwd worden in Vlaanderen?, Mechelen, Wolters Kluwer, 2016, 43-94

Punitive administrative sanctioning is in vogue. Especially administrative fines are increasingly counted upon to help enforce legislation, throughout all policy fields. This paper analyses the protection courts can and must offer to whomever person involved in an offence punished with an administrative fine: the person or persons to whom the fine was imposed but also third parties claiming to have suffered damages by the offence. The analysis is conducted in a general way, regardless of the policy areas involved, but uses the administrative fining of environmental and land use offences as an example. It is valid for the different courts in the court system dealing with appeals against administrative fines: civil courts, youth courts, police courts, administrative courts, … The crucial role of the Articles 6 and 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the Seventh ECHR-Protocol and the Articles 14 an 15 UN CCPR as safeguards, in adjudication, against sloppy legislative work is pointed out and detailed. The specific requirements the Constitutional Court has developed in its case law, inspired by the ECHR and the UN CCPR, are discussed in depth. Their impact on the actual adjudication process is extensively illustrated using case law of the Flemish Environmental Enforcement Court. The relatively poor protection of third parties is commented upon.

Full publication (Dutch) here