Report numberRA-2005-58
TitleThe optimal legal conditions for the administrative fine
AuthorsLiesbet Deben
Published byPolicy Research Centre for Traffic Safety 2002-2006
Number of pages28
Document languageDutch
Partner(s)LUC (nu UHasselt)
Work packageOther: Enforcement and policy

The recent increase of legistative initiatives to plan social life has led to a cry for transparancy in the jungle called legislation. The people can’t anticipate the consequences of their actions due to lack of knowledge about the sanctions on certain behaviour. When a rule is unknown it’s clear that it can’t be effective. The administrative enforcement model can contribute to a more coherent and transparent legislation. As nearly all norm breaches can be dealt with both in an administrative as a criminal way, the choice to implement an administrative fine is merely a political one. The grounds on witch the rule makers can base their decision upon are being investigated in this report.  As there are situations where an administrative sanctioning is clearly favourable, they can indicate the conditions that have to be fulfilled in order to make profitable use of the administrative fine. The report aims to give an overview of the premises that have to be fulfilled in order to implement the administrative fine. As the legislator always is given the choice between the adminisitrative and the criminal fine, the research includes the intertwinement with the criminal variant and the conditions in which a choice for the administrative figure is advisable. But even though the guidelines can indicate otherwise, one should always bear in mind that, depending on the circumstances, other factors might play a decisive role. So every time before making the decision to introduce an administrative fine, a thorough evaluation of the specific circumstances is recommendable. 

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The Policy Research Centre for Traffic Safety carries out policy relevant scientific research under the authority of the Flemish Government. The Centre is the result of a

cooperation between Hasselt University, KU Leuven and VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research.


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