The contract as a governmental policy instrument in urban planning and environmental matters
PhD student: Dr S. Verbeyst
Promotor: Prof S. Lierman
Duration: 2/10/2016 - 30/9/2022
PhD defence: Leuven, 25/5/2022
A government covenant is a contract concluded between a government and another government or a private party. In this covenant, the government states that it will use its powers to issue unilateral government actions (such as regulations and executive orders) in a certain way or to not issue them at all. Normal contracts are concluded between private parties, pursuing their individual interests. Covenants contain at least one governmental party. The government does not pursue individual interests, but always pursues the general interest. The question arises whether this results in certain limitations for the government to conclude covenants or that the government has certain contractual prerogatives. An example of a limitation would be that the government cannot contractually limit its powers. An example of a prerogative would be that the government can unilaterally modify or terminate the contract if the general interest requires it to do so. The government remedied these uncertainties by creating legal frameworks for certain covenants. These questions however remain unanswered for the non-regulated covenants. These questions have also been discussed in the Netherlands, France and England, albeit with different results. The research will examine which solutions could be usefully implemented in Belgian law. For reasons of feasibility and relevance, the doctoral research will focus on the non-regulated government covenants in urban planning and environmental matters.