Billiet & Lavrysen, 2015

Carole M. Billiet & Luc Lavrysen (eds.). In de roos. Doeltreffende sanctionering van omgevingsrecht [Hitting the mark. Effective sanctioning of environmental, land use and cultural heritage legislation], Brugge, die Keure, 2015, 330 p.

2009-2010 saw a sweeping change of the environmental enforcement legislation in Flanders. The parliament opted for a sanctioning system with a fully-fledged administrative sanctioning track organized next to the criminal sanctioning track. The previously existing differences in sanctioning options between both tracks were dimmed: the criminal courts, traditionally oriented on punishing, were given new possibilities to impose remedial sanctions and the administration, traditionally oriented on remedial action, was given the administrative transaction and fine to punish. The new Decree on Cultural Heritage that entered into force on January 1st 2015 and the new Decree on land use law enforcement that will enter into force in a nearby future (probably early 2017) copied their enforcement systems on the 2009-2010  Environmental Enforcement Decree, organizing equally strong criminal and administrative sanctioning tracks, each equipped with punitive as well as remedial sanctioning tools, with a set of similar tools existing in both the criminal and the administrative sanctioning track.

Whereas the three sanctioning systems display outspoken similarities, they also have a puzzling amount of small to bigger differences. The differences exist at the level of the toolkits as a whole and in the shaping and articulation of individual tools. These differences make for different accents in enforcement strategies and create uneven possibilities and distinct limitations in tool use.

This book makes a cross-section of the sanctioning tools used by all three legislations in both the criminal and the administrative track: the monetary transaction, the situational settlement, the fine, the forfeiture of illegal benefits, the cessation and regularization injunction and the penalty payment. Capping the whole, a system analysis is made of the public law toolkits and tool mixes, evaluating their effectiveness for law enforcement.