Université Saint-Louis - Bruxelles

Participantes et participants ACCA 2021


Le recours à la violence légitime par l’État pour assurer la distanciation sociale dans un contexte de crise sanitaire


Nicolas Bernard


The health crisis reexamines the relationship between the citizen and the authorities in many ways, particularly from the point of view of the legitimacy of power. Upstream, the validity of the measures taken by those in power is challenged at the time of their adoption and, in turn, the governed come to challenge the legitimacy of the power of those in power. Downstream, the application of measures is also questioned, especially when the rulers resort to the use of force. The present contribution proposes to question, from a mainly legal point of view, the gap that now seems to have opened up between citizens and police forces in the context of the use of legitimate violence by the state during law enforcement missions, in the particular context of a health crisis. It will mainly describe and question the legal framework relating to legitimate violence. In this perspective, the contribution would adopt an internal legal perspective moderately open to political philosophy, in order to question the processes of legitimisation of the use of force by the State, and to political science, in order to illustrate the way in which force is used by the different actors during law enforcement operations.     


Biographie :


Nicolas B. Bernard est référendaire à la Cour constitutionnelle, assistant en droit administratif à l’Université Saint-Louis – Bruxelles et collaborateur scientifique à l’UCLouvain. Ses recherches sont consacrées au droit public militaire et au droit constitutionnel institutionnel.


Mille signataires au Parlement bruxellois pour réduire la distance démocratique : le droit de pétition et le droit d'être entendu en action


Marie Beudels

Julian Clarenne

Norman Vander Putten


The right to submit petitions to Parliaments has always been part of the Belgian constitutional landscape as a mechanism for reducing democratic distance. Recent attempts to improve the effectiveness of the tool have take the forme of the establishment, within four Belgian parliamentary assemblies, of a right for petitioners to be heard and to obtain a response to their request, provided that a series of conditions are met. At the level of the Brussels Regional Parliament, for example, a Brussels « ordonnance » of 20th July 2016 allows petitioners who collect more than 1,000 signatories to be heard. Wishing to make use of this new faculty, the authors of this proposal have filed a petition to the Brussels Parliament. After its submission at the end of 2020, they were heard by the Environment Commission of the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region in March 2021. In this context, the presentation intends to (i) describe the current legal framework of the right of petition, (ii) take stock of the practical experience of the petitioners, and (iii) draw some conclusions on the recent reforms of the right of petition and, more generally, on the appropriateness of the instrument as a means to reduce democratic distance.     



Biographies :


Marie Beudels is a researcher at the KULeuven Center for IT & IP law (CiTiP). She holds a master degree from the University of Liège and a LL.M fromHarvard Law School. Within CiTiP, Marie conducts research on media law, social media, artificial intelligence application in the media field and on online data protection. She is also a lawyer at the Brussels bar.


Julian Clarenne est doctorant au Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherches en droit Constitutionnel et administratif (CIRC) de l’Université Saint-Louis de Bruxelles. Après avoir terminé son master en droit à l'UCLouvain, il a rejoint le centre en 2016, en tant qu’assistant de Sources et Principes de Droit et de droit constitutionnel. Il a parallèlement réalisé un master complémentaire en Internationaal et Europees Recht à la Vrije Universiteit van Brussel. Depuis 2018, il réalise une thèse sur le renouveau de la démocratie représentative par le droit parlementaire, sous la direction du professeur Mathias El Berhoumi.


Norman Vander Putten est titulaire d’un master en droit de l’Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL) et d’un master of Economics de la Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Depuis 2018, il est assistant à l’Université Saint-Louis de Bruxelles. Il est également membre du Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche en droit Constitutionnel et administratif (CIRC). En septembre 2019, il entame une thèse intitulée « Quand le droit mesure la prospérité. Place, rôle et virtualités des indicateurs dans l’ordre juridique belge » dans le cadre d’un mandat d’aspirant du Fonds national de la recherche scientifique, sous la co-direction d’Antoine Bailleux et d’Isabelle Hachez.


AI & Social media: to the infinity and beyond?


Marie Beudels

Noémie Krack


There has always been physical distance between  individuals and the aim of communication technologies is to reduce this distance. This is especially true for social media, which purpose is, as their name suggests, to creating social links which go beyond the physical distance. And yet, social media create more distance than we think. Namely the use of artificial intelligence applications by social media can create several types of distances: a lack of transparency with regards to the decision-making processes, an intellectual isolation, the perpetuation of existing discriminations and the physical and social isolation. But could law be a solution and solve or contribute to reduce these gaps? Recent innovative proposals were put forward by the European Union to catch up with innovation and set a regulatory framework for technology and social media platforms. In this contribution we will present some key innovative solutions that these proposal offer and question their ability to resolve the above mentioned distances or their likelihood to create new ones.     


Biographies :


Marie Beudels is a researcher at the KULeuven Center for IT & IP law (CiTiP). She holds a master degree from the University of Liège and a LL.M fromHarvard Law School. Within CiTiP, Marie conducts research on media law, social media, artificial intelligence application in the media field and on online data protection. She is also a lawyer at the Brussels bar.


Noémie Krack holds an LL.M. in IP & ICT Law from the KU Leuven and a Master in law with a specialization in European Law from the Université Catholique de Louvain. After several work experiences in EU law (EC Legal service, Belgian Perm. Rep. to the EU), she joined the KULeuven Center for IT & IP law (CiTiP). Her current research focuses on media law, artificial intelligence, data protection and the challenges that technology raises for fundamental rights.


The use of telemedicine: A preliminary overview of legal and ethical issues in eHealth


Daniela Brešic


The use of telemedicine in the provision of healthcare has reached its peak during the Covid-19 pandemic, offering the possibility to patients to receive treatment in times where social distancing measures have complicated the visit in the doctor’s office. It encompasses the transfer of health data and information, thereby involving an wide array of services, such as remote consultation or monitoring. While telemedicine services can support patients as well as healthcare professionals, the provision of care profoundly relies on the physical interaction and exchange between the two of them. The presentation seeks to examine the applicable data protection and confidentiality legislation, as well as the potential legal and ethical challenges arising through the use of telemedicine services.     


Biographie :


Daniela Brešiæis a doctoral researcher at the KU Leuven Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP), where she is pursuinga joint doctorate in collaboration with the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the University of Bologna. Her thesis focuses on the ethical and legal issues regarding the sharing of health-related data in eHealth.


Reducing the ‘distance’ between EU competition policy and environmental sustainability — Ongoing policy developments


Tom Buytaert


Competition authorities have often been accused of showing too little concern for environmental sustainability considerations when deciding merger, State aid or concerted practices cases. This vision of EU competition policy pursuing ‘consumer welfare’ in a narrow sense, which excludes ‘non economic’ public policy considerations, is arguably difficult to reconcile with the broader EU constitutional context, notably the environmental integration and consistency clauses enshrined in the EU Treaties. Yet, the Green Deal is forcing changes across all EU policies — including competition policy. It appears that ongoing policy developments, both from a substantial and from a procedural perspective, could result in reducing the distance between competition policy and the global movement towards enhancing environmental protection. A number of possible evolutions are studied, ranging from the revision of the Commission guidelines on horizontal agreements to the possible extension of the Aarhus Regulation’s internal review regime to also cover State aid decisions.


Biography :


Currently legal clerk at the Court of Justice of the EU and part-time teaching assistant at the University of Leuven, Tom previously graduated from the UCLouvain and obtained a LL.M. in EU law at the College of Europe.


Droits reproductifs : et si la pratique se distanciait du droit ?


Aurélie Cassiers


This presentation will talk about the “distance” between the law and the practice in the field of procreation. Topics such as abortion, including the prenatal tests (available on the internet) and their consequences, and the choice of the gametes’ donor (and the online shopping related to it) will be discussed. The basis for this presentation is an analysis of the legislation and interviews with practitioners. The legislation as well as some practices will be subject to some critics.


Biography :


I obtained my bachelor’s degree at Namur University and my master's degree at the KUL. I had the opportunity to go for an Erasmus-Belgica at the UAntwerpen and in exchange at the University of Stellenbosch (SA). I am currently teaching assistant in family and matrimonial law at the UHasselt. I am writing a PhD about the right to have a perfect child (so, mostly in bioethics, human rights, medical law, and people law), under the supervision of prof. dr. Charlotte Declerck (UHasselt) and prof. dr. Géraldine Mathieu (UNamur).



A Global North – Global South Approach to Public International Law: When Distance and Law Move Apart


Marie Courtoy

Eleonora Frasca


What does the notion of “distance” mean in a North-South approach to international law? It refers primarily to the physical distance between two spaces that are both delimited and contested. A symbolic distance follows, which itself creates a legal and democratic distance. More than geographical zones, the Global North and the Global South indeed designate two different universes which do not hold the same amount of power within the global order. This symbolic distance – where the Global North is placed at the center while the South is considered peripheral – is reflected in the systematic denial of participation of the Global South in international law. Third World Approaches to International Law (TWAIL) make it possible to deconstruct the fiction of legal positivism by placing the birth and implementation of international law within the context of power relations and the resulting system of oppression.     


Biographies :


Marie Courtoy is a PhD researcher at the Charles De Visscher Centre for International and European Law (CeDIE, UCLouvain) under FRESH (FNRS) funding and a research associate in the Department of ‘Law & Anthropology’ of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. Her doctoral research focuses on climate mobilities in the broader context of environmental justice and it combines a legal and anthropological approach. She holds a double Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology and in Law (Université Saint-Louis, Belgium) and a Master’s degree in Law (UCLouvain).

Eleonora Frasca is a PhD researcher in EU law at the Charles De Visscher Centre for International and European Law (CeDIE, UCLouvain). Her research is about migration cooperation between the EU and African countries. Eleonora holds a Law degree from Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) and a MSc in Public Policy and Human Development from the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance and UNU-Merit (the Netherlands). She is a member of EDEM, led by Pr. Sylvie Sarolea, and she is affiliated to ADiM and the Kaldor Centre Emerging Scholars Network.


The articulation between physical and social distance: a professional tool contaminated by the health crisis


Nelson das Neves Ribeiro

Luce Molitor


Health measures, especially social distancing, have strongly disrupted the professional practices of many sectors of activity in the criminological field. Using empirical data, Luce Molitor and Nelson das Neves Ribeiro analyze the impact of this spatial, social and relational distancing in three sectors of activity: police, prison and non-profit organisations. This contribution defends the idea that, far from managerial formalism, interactions between professionals and users are based on physical and social proximity, the two being inexorably linked. Their articulation is therefore a key to a dynamic comprehension and must be continually reflected upon, otherwise individuals will be condemned to a spatial, relational and social "out-of-society".


Biographies :


Après une carrière de 12 ans à la police technique et scientifique fédérale, Luce Molitor obtient un master en criminologie. Elle est actuellement assistante au Centre de recherches pénalité sécurité déviances de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles. Sa thèse de doctorat porte sur l’impact de l’émotion dans le travail criminalistique des policiers.

Nelson Das Neves Ribeiro est assistant à l’École des sciences criminologiques Léon Cornil (ULB) et doctorant au Centre de recherches Pénalité, sécurité & déviances (ULB). Ses domaines de recherche traitent de l’impact des contrôles sociaux sur les usagers de drogues illicites.


Taking a listen to EU law in Strasbourg: A new path to narrow the fundamental rights bridge in Europe?


Victor Davio


The presentation aims to explore two intimately related distances in the landscape of European fundamental rights. The first one is the shrinking distance between the European Union (EU) legal order and fundamental rights. While the latter rights were absent from the original EU project, which aimed primarily at the economic redemption of Europe, they have gradually knocked on the EU’s door. Fundamental rights were first recognised as general principles and then cautiously enshrined in the EU Treaties. In recent times, a new dynamic is emerging whereby the EU seems to undergo a metamorphosis in its relationship with these rights. The EU is indeed moving from being a standard-taker in the field of fundamental rights to being a standard-setter. For instance, the EU has its own Bill of Rights since 2000, the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The paradoxical effect of the autonomous development of fundamental rights at EU level is to reignite a distance, the second studied, between the ECHR and the EU fundamental rights standards. One avenue to reduce the latter distance is for the ECtHR to rely on EU standards to substantiate the ECHR rights. In this respect, the presentation will highlight not only the opportunities that arise from this approach for the multi-layered European fundamental rights architecture but also the pitfalls of an unrestrained reliance on EU law by Strasbourg.   


Biographie :


Victor is a doctoral researcher at the KU Leuven since 2020 in the context of the ERC-funded project RESHUFFLE. His research project focuses on the influence of EU fundamental rights standards on the ECtHR case-law. He is also a teaching and research assistant in constitutional law at the University Saint-Louis Brussels. He obtained a Master’s degree in law at the KU Leuven (2018). During his studies, he spent a semester at the University of Edinburgh as part of a student exchange programme. He completed his studies with an LL.M. in EU law at the College of Europe (2019).



The Brancusi Case: from Judicial Interpretation to the Transfiguration of the Commonplace


Maxime de Brogniez


On 26 November 1928, the United States Customs Court ruled on the classification of The Bird in Space by Romanian artist Constantin Brancusi. Taxed by the customs administration as a "manufactured metal object", the object of the dispute was finally qualified as a "sculpture" by the Court and thus exempted from customs duties. While intuitively the artistic nature of The Bird in Space may be thought to pre-exist the judge's assessment, it is instructive to look at the transformative effect of judicial interpretation. In The Transfiguration of the Commonplace, the philosopher Arthur Danto seeks to understand how two objects can be visually indistinguishable when one is a work of art and the other is not. The process of interpretation is central to his demonstration. According to the philosopher, it is thanks to a discourse on an object that the latter also becomes about something. The work of art is an embodied meaning. We will try to put the Brancusi case and Danto's theory into dialogue in order to identify the role that the law can play in the transformation brought about by interpretation   


Biographie :


Titulaire d’un master en droit et d’un master en philosophie (esthétique), Maxime de Brogniez réalise une thèse de doctorat portant sur la manière dont le droit peut forger des concepts qui, a priori, lui sont étrangers, en particulier des concepts artistiques (co-promotion droit et philosophie). Il est assistant à l’Université de Liège en droit public économique et à l’Université Libre de Bruxelles en droit du champ culturel et du marché de l’art.


Studying International Law From Afar


Antoine De Spiegeleir


Do international law scholars make law? “No”, says the mainstream view on international lawmaking. To support this answer, many refer to a now canonical analogy between international law scholars and lepidopterologists. Scientists who study (pink) butterflies, the argument goes, do not make butterflies, they merely study them. So how could international law scholars make international law? If we are to be scientists—and most of us hold this label dearly—then we must act like ones and limit ourselves to studying international law, rather than making it. In this short presentation, I offer a counter-view to this mainstream understanding of international law scholarship by means of a thought experiment centered on the distance between legal scholars and their object of study. I attempt to apply Hacking’s social epistemology to our field and question what it means for international law scholars to study an interactive butterfly.   


Biographie :


Antoine De Spiegeleir is an LL.M. candidate at Yale Law School, where he specializes in international law and legal theory. He is also an associate researcher at the KU Leuven and the USL-B. Antoine previously studied law and philosophy in Brussels, Leuven, and Zurich. He interned at a number of Belgian and international law firms, volunteered for various non-governmental organizations, and attended several summer and winter courses, including at the European University Institute, where he was awarded the Diploma of the Academy.



Masculinity as property: on law, power,and our interconnectedness


Mattias Decoster


In this contribution, I suggest thinking of gender as property in an attempt to emphasize the (inter)connection between human beings. Such emphasis reduces the metaphysical distance between, or independence of, individuals that is posited by international human rights law (IHRL). It also allows us to shed light on legally embedded power relations. IHRL contributes to thinking of gender as a mere private aspect of one’s identity that is freely chosen and embodied by an independent and rational self. However, queer and feminist legal theory teaches us that human beings are rather dependent on each other and that gender is instead an oppressive structure that is socially enforced. Gender not only limits one’s possible gender embodiments, it also unequally distributes material benefits. Gender, just like property, is both private and public. Gender and property are private because individuals can claim it; they are public because owning them generates an expectation of benefit over someone else which is guaranteed by law. As such, gender and property refer to social relationships of power between individuals. If we were to approach gender as property, we might be able to draft legal reforms that devalue the worth of cisgender, straight and white masculinity and actually achieve more gender justice.  


Biographie :


Mattias (they/them) is a queer legal scholar, who studies the law’s involvement in upholding certain social hierarchies based on sex/gender, race, sexual orientation and bodily ability. Grounded within critical strands of legal theory, such as Feminist and Queer Legal Theory, Critical Race Theory, Crip Theory and TWAIL, Mattias’ writings aim to challenge the cisheteropatriarchy, racism and ableism (amongst other isms) from a legal theoretical perspective. Their FWO funded PhD research at the University of Antwerp and Ghent University is titled "Masculinity as Property".


Merging abandonment and law: abandonment as a manner of termination for property rights


Marie-Laure Degroote


In Belgian law, the power of a right-holder to unilaterally abandon his property right is well accepted. Abandonment offers away out to the right-holder when the obligations attached to the property right are too burdensome. From a property law perspective, this unilateral manner of termination results from the classical opinion that a property right creates a direct power over a good, and the assumption that abandonment of a property right does not involve a transfer to the patrimony of a possible counterparty (e.g. the bare owner in case of abandonment of a right of usufruct). However, from a contractual law perspective, abandonment is at odds with the binding force of an agreement (pacta sunt servanda) and with the (extra)contractual liability of a right-holder/abandoner. During the presentation, these areas of tension will be discussed in more detail, as well as the solutions provided by new Belgian property law.


Biography :


Marie-Laure Degroote graduated as Master of Law at KU Leuven in 2019 and is affiliated with the Institute for. Property Law(KU Leuven)as a doctoral assistant since September 2019. Under supervision of prof. dr. Vincent Sagaert, she is working on a thesis concerning the possibility and desirability of abandoning property rights. For this project, the Fund for Scientific Research Flanders(FWO) awarded her an aspirant scholarship in 2020.


Le dialogue entre les pouvoirs publics, les cultes et les organisations philosophiques non confessionnelles : un palliatif à la distance démocratique ?


Anissa Djelassi


Article 17.3 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union stipulates that the Union shall maintain "an open, transparent and regular dialogue" with churches and philosophical and non-confessional organisations. Member States are also encouraged to do so. Despite some initiatives, this type of dialogue remains without ta legal basis in Belgium. The goal of this contribution is, first, to shed light on the way these dialogue mechanisms are set up in the European Union and in Belgium. Then, to determine whether these interactions promote the democratic character of the decisions taken by the public authorities. Finally, this contribution will suggest ways in which these mechanisms could be implemented in Belgian law in order to optimize their potential as a remedy for democratic backsliding.


Biographie :


Anissa Djelassi est doctorante en droit à l’UNamur. Sa thèse a pour vocation d’étudier les mécanismes de dialogue existants entre les autorités publiques, les cultes et organisations philosophiques non confessionnelles en Belgique et dans l’Union européenne. Membre du Centre Vulnérabilités & Sociétés, elle concentre également ses recherches  sur la protection des droits humains et leur mise en œuvre de façon non discriminatoire.


The international responsibility of home-States for extraterritorial abuses committed by companies domiciled within their territory: the case of Uyghur forced labour


Odile Dua


Recently, allegations were made concerning the use of Uyghur forced labour in the supply chain of multinationals in the textile sector, such as H&M (Sweden), Adidas (Germany), Fila (Italy) or Gap (USA).Most of the "home states" of these multinationals are bound by the obligation to protect human rights under the ICCPR and the ICESCR and to take measures to abolish forced labour (ILO Conventions No. 29 and 105). Despite the thousands of kilometres separating them from Chinese factories, the failure of home states to act on the abuses committed by companies domiciled in their territory thus raises questions about their obligations under international Human Rights law. The contribution aims to delineate the international responsibility of home States regarding the extraterritorial activities of companies domiciled under their jurisdiction.


Biography :


Odile Dua holds a bachelor's degree in law (ULB -2016), a master's degree in public and international law (ULB -2018) and an LL.M. in European and international law (UGent -2019). She is a PhD student and teaching assistant at the Centre de Droit International(ULB). Her research focuses on the interactions between States and non-state actors and the establishment of their responsibilities for human rights abuses.


Democratic distance and interpretative proximity: the case of Google and Apple Exposure Notifications system


Tatiana Duarte


The presentation takes Google and Apple Exposure Notifications system (ENS) as a point of departure to explore the relation between law and distance. The ENS is regulated by subscription contracts whose clauses impose a particular design for national proximity tracking apps. States that want to engage with ENS must comply with the design requirements imposed by Google and Apple–otherwise, they are excluded from the ENS. The regulatory shift from public accountable governments to private companies generates a democratic distance between governments and citizens. But it also creates what we call an interpretative proximity, as it embeds one particular reading of data protection law which is automatically enforced by the ENS. It cuts-off the interpretative power of the publicly accountable legislature and administration in favour of companies that dominate the technological infrastructure. The tension between distance and proximity intends to show that not all distance is to be avoided, as not all proximity is to be embraced.


Biography :


I have a degree in law and a master’s degree in legal criminal sciences, both issued by the University of Lisbon, and I am currently doing my PhD in legal theory at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. I am interested in the interpretative shift involved in intertwining law and computer science in the context of automated compliance with data protection.


Les initiatives visant à relocaliser les activités économiques au regard des règles du marché intérieur de l’Union européenne.


Olivier Dussauge


I would like to begin by explaining the internal market system as interpreted by the Court of Justice, i.e. a free and competitive market space within which economic agents have the possibility, but not the obligation, to shape commercial circuits over large, medium and small distances. Then, I will evaluate the current impossibility of structuring, politically and economically, a market system aiming at the principle of economic subsidiarity, except by hypothesising a great post-growth generalized narrative, but carried individually. Finally, I will propose legal avenues designed to protect local initiatives from economic powers acting within the internal market.


Biography :


Following a Master's degree in European Union law at ULB in 2018 - 2019, Olivier started a PhD thesis at USL-B in February 2020 which focuses on initiatives to relocalize the economy under the EU internal market rules and the narratives underlying the jurisprudential work of the Court of Justice. He is a member of the SIEJ (Séminaire interdisciplinaire d'études juridiques) and of the IEE (Institut d'Etudes Européennes).


L'intersexuation et le droit : une épineuse question ?


François Fekete de Vàri


Biologically, intersexuation refers to people whose sexual characteristics (chromosomal, gonadal, hormonal or genital) do not correspond to the typical definitions of male and female. They represent, according to the recent studies, around 1.7% of the population. The relation between intersexuation and the law remains a vexed question, however. From a national point a view, the legal obligation to register the sex of a child as “male” or “female” excludes intersex people from State recognition. From an international and fundamental rights point of view, the people who are born with bodies that differ from the male and female standards are subjected to multiple human rights violations (including right to life, prohibition of torture and ill-treatment, right to respect of private life). Thus, we argue that the law should integrate and protect those subjects that fall outside its binary framework, and, in order to do so, it should transform itself.


Biography :


François Fekete de Vàri obtained an MA in Philosophy from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2015), and completed his education with an MA in Human Rights at the Université Saint-Louis (2019). After a four-year experience in the NGO field (UK and Belgium), he worked as a teaching assistant in Philosophy at the ULB and the USL-B. He is now a PhD researcher at both universities, where he works under the supervision of Diane Bernard and Thomas Berns on gender studies, philosophy of norms and theories of recognition.


“Trust is good, but control is better”: modalities of the obligation to state reasons for legislative acts


Alexandra Gjurova


The Belgian legal order contains no explicit general constitutional of legislative act that compels to state reasons for legislation. However, such an obligation does exist and is embodied in several categories of norms. This presentation will firstly focus on the main category, particularly human rights norms. Thereafter, the modalities of the obligation to state reasons for legislative acts will be discussed by means of an analysis of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court. This analysis will reveal some weaknesses. In order to remedy those weaknesses, this presentation will additionally suggest to incorporate the obligation to state reasons for legislative acts in Title II of the Constitution. Finally, the main findings will be resumed in a conclusion.   


Biography :


Alexandra Gjurova began her juridical career as a lawyer at the bar of Ghent, specialised in public law. In 2018, Alexandra joined the Department of Public Law of the Faculty of Law and Criminology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where she is writing a dissertation on the obligation to state reasons for legislative acts and regulations.


Bridge over Troubled Water? Responsibilities of the Citizen towards the Government Explained by the Concept of Good Citizenship in Administrative Law


Michelle Meulebrouck


Administrative law is traditionally characterized by a vertical relationship between the citizen and the administration. In recent decades, however, there has been an increasingly horizontal trend. This is also known as ‘reciprocal administrative law’. Citizens and government are no longer opposed to each other, but the relationship citizen-government is gradually seen as a kind of partnership, where both parties can learn from each other. Whereas the emphasis has always been on limiting the powers of the government towards the citizen, the so-called principles of good citizenship (beginselen van behoorlijk burgerschap or principes de bonne citoyenneté) focus on the behaviour of the citizen towards the government. The principles of good citizenship then function as the logical counterpart of the principles of good administration (beginselen van behoorlijk bestuur or principes de bonne administration). What does the forementioned evolution mean for the government-citizen relationship? Does this evolution foster dialogue, or instead, does it limit legal protection? Lawmakers and courts might be inclined to establish citizens’ responsibilities, emanating from this concept of good citizenship in administrative law, but legal concerns may possibly arise. In this presentation, we will zoom in on environmental permit procedures in Flanders and the case law of the European Court of Justice.


Biography :


Michelle Meulebrouck is affiliated as doctoral researcher to the department of Public Law (Leuven Centre for Public Law) at KU Leuven. She is currently preparing a PhD on 'the Principles of Good Citizenship in Administrative Law’. She holds a Master of Laws degree from KU Leuven, with a focus on European and International Public Law. Her research interests include administrative law and constitutional law in general, and the government-citizen relationship in particular. During her law studies, she spent a semester abroad at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Next to this, she also fulfilled summer internships at the Belgian Constitutional Court and the Council of State.


The extraterritorial application of the Charter: how distance impacts the protection and promotion of fundamental rights


Areg Navasartian


The presentation will consider the question of how distance impacts the protection and promotion of fundamental rights, or, more concretely, the extra-territorial application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Given the unique place the Charter occupies in the EU’s constitutional framework, applying solely within the sphere of EU competences, the author raises the question of how to understand the respect of the Charter in EU external relations. The present will try, through a mapping out exercise of the different spheres of application of the Charter in EU external activity, to answer several unresolved questions, relating to the reconciliation of an internal EU instrument with external –distant –elements, whether they are States or third country citizens.


Biography :


Areg Navasartian is a full-time assistant at theCentre for European Law of theUniversité libre de Bruxelles. Her doctoral research, carried out under the supervision of Prof. Chloé Brière, focuses on the promotion andthe protection of fundamental rights by the European Union in its external relations. She analyses in her doctoral research the intersections between fundamental rights and trade, development policy, and CFSP tools, as well as the role of the EU in international organisations.Prior to her PhD, she was a researcher on the ULB team in the EU funded project e-learning National Active Charter Training (e-NACT, EU DG JUST, no. 763875, 2017-2019).She also takes part in the organizational aspects of the LL.M inEU Law, organized by the IEE-ULB, and teaches different seminars.


Getting Real: Legal Tech as A Conflict-(Dis)P(l)acer


Bart Nelissen


Conflict avoidance and dispute resolution increasingly rely on input from a wide array of disciplines in order to provide clients with (ever more) value for money. It comes to no surprise that so-called Legal Tech is booming accordingly: legal practitioners are nudged and even urged to hop on the IT train to safeguard and bolster their existing client portfolios and further develop their businesses. This opportunity-rich enterprise nonetheless entails additional risks and threats. Following authors like LUBAN, GORDON, FISK & SOUTWORTH and SUSSKIND, this contribution explores some potentially alienating intuitions as to both the scope and role of legal tech as well as the fear, shared by more than one, that flesh-and-bone lawyers will be supplanted progressively by merely numerical entities. This fear appears to be ill-founded provided we tackle the issues at hand wisely and with prudence, thereby assuming that legal instruments are the crystallized upshot of politics, that the quality of our opinion climate is a function of the anthropology and openness of its participants, and that (legal) business has always been and probably will remain a form of waging war by other means. Insights from equally tech-challenged industries such as investment banking and healthcare aptly illustrate and undergird this position.


Biography :


After having studied law in Antwerp, where he also completed a teacher's training (2008), Bart went on to study human rights (Master complémentaire, Académie universitaire Louvain, 2009) and philosophy (MA, KU Leuven, 2014). He spent 7 months in New York (Columbia Law School) as a Fulbright fellow (2013) and in October 2017 he finished his PhD dissertation with a focus on the ideological independence of Belgian judges (in spe). Since August 2008, Bart has been working full-time at the Belgian Federal Ministry of the Interior as a lawyer and strategic advisor and he was a part-time teaching assistant in constitutional and administrative law as well as legal drafting at UHasselt (2010-2013) and in Roman Law, Constitutional Law and Foundations of Law at KU Leuven (2008-2014) where he is still an affiliated researcher. As from June 2015 he is an affiliated researcher of the Ius Commune Research School.


Le contrat de vente conclu à distance au prisme des vulnérabilités du consommateur


Guillaume Schultz


Using information and communication technologies to purchase goods is now commonplace for consumers. These are contracts concluded when the parties are not physically and simultaneously present. Their dematerialized, automatic, fast, and sometimes opaque conclusion can put the consumer in a weak position compared to his co-contractor, the enterprise. The "vulnerability" of consumers has three dimensions: first, outside the "usual" commercial circuit, the distance consumer often suffers from an information deficit; second, he is more likely to give in to impulsive and thoughtless purchases as soon as online purchases can be made in a few clicks; third, he cannot see, inspect, and try out the goods as he would in a traditional store. For each of these three vulnerabilities, we will look at how the legislator has tried to remedy them and, thus, to rebalance the "balance of power" between consumers and enterprises. We will also identify the pitfalls that seem to remain and the remedies that exist. This presentation will also be an opportunity to decompartmentalize the disciplines and to take an interest in consumerist psychology to better understand the purchasing behavior of distance consumers.


Biography :


Guillaume Schultz est assistant en méthodologie juridique et en droit des obligations à l’Université Saint-Louis –Bruxelles. Ses recherches se concentrent essentiellement sur les pratiques du marché et la protection duconsommateur. Guillaume est par ailleurs avocat au Barreau de Bruxelles où il pratique le droit civil et le droit de l’entreprise.


Prisoners of war: when the element of nationality creates a distance between a State and its citizens.


Odile Vandenbossche


Under Article 4 of the third Geneva Convention of 1949 (GCIII), prisoners of war are, inter alia, those combatants who have fallen into the power of the enemy. Article 4 of GCIII requires no condition of nationality in order to beneficiate from the status of prisoner of war. However, it has regularly been argued that the own nationals of the Detaining Power are not prisoners of war. This condition of non-nationality has appeared in national and international jurisprudence, in state practice but has also been invoked by eminent international humanitarian law experts. Based on this view, the nationals of the Detaining power fall outside the scope of protection of GCIII. In doing so, the nationality of the captured combatant creates a distance between him/her and his/her power of origin during an international armed conflict.


Biography :


Odile Vandenbossche holds a Law degree from the Université de Liège as well as an LL.M. degree in international humanitarian law from the University of Essex. Odile has worked as a legal attaché for the legal unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva and as the assistant to the Senior Delegate to NATO and the armed forces in Europe at the ICRC Delegation in Brussels. Odile is now a doctorate-assistant in International Humanitarian Law at the ‘Université de Liège’.


Climate change, taxes and the law: a global conversation?


Fanny Vanrykel


This is a legal analysis of carbon taxes, as a regulatory strategy that is promoted in all contexts and at all levels to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. From such promotion emerges a global conversation. The aim of this research is to offer a fresh perspective on the relationship between climate change, taxes and the law. It departs from the predominant view that pervades legal scholarship on the topic, which understands this relationship in instrumental terms. This approach focuses on the specific features that differentiate regulatory strategies but has little regard to their substance. It also tends to relegate the law to a mere matter of constraint and the legal context to a ‘clean clinique.1Based a literature review on the topic of carbon taxes in law, it concludes that a different perspective to understand this relationship is needed.


Biography :


Fanny is a F.N.R.S. research fellow at ULiège and USaint-Louis. Her research explores carbon pricing schemes in law. She follows an interdisciplinary approach, using an economic starting point to analyse this topic. Before starting her research, she was part of a multi-disciplinary research team examining policy instruments for a low carbon society.


Segregation in education: recognition of the concept of segregation in international and European human rights law


Merel Vrancken


In the current educational system of many countries in the world, pupils with different characteristics are separated from each other on the basis of those characteristics, creating homogeneous groups of pupils across schools. In some cases, this separation happens on the basis of (presumably) relevant characteristics, such as merit, intelligence or interests. In others, pupils are separated on the basis of characteristics irrelevant for learning, such as race or socioeconomic status. This last phenomenon is called segregation. In essence, segregation creates a physical distance between different categories of pupils, which has a prejudicial effect on the development of their further lives, and thus should also have human rights implications. This presentation will examine the recognition of the concept of segregation in international and European human rights law.


Biography :


Merel Vrancken graduated as a Master of Law at KULeuven (2019) and is a PhD Candidate in constitutional law at UHasselt. She is preparing a PhD on human rights law’s possibilities and limitations to address educational segregation.

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