Law enforcement

Monitoring and sanctioning are needed whenever a policy is shaped using legal rules. Law without enforcement remains ineffective. EQUAL assists public authorities, companies, NGO’s and private citizens throughout enforcement trajectories.

Omnipresent, complex and varied

Law enforcement evolved strongly the past decennia. Law makers think increasingly in terms of enforcement models using criminal and administrative law in interconnected complementary ways. Thus the administrative fine has been coming up as a sanctioning tool in a wide range of policy fields. The supranational dimension takes more and more importance. All legislation with roots at the EU-level is subject to an enforcement obligation that the ECJ helped to shape, with its judgment in the Greek Maize case (1989) as milestone judgment. The European Court of Human Rights developed extensive case law regarding the procedural and material guarantees persons involved are entitled to. The jurisprudence of both courts keeps evolving. Victims of offences have nowadays considerably more rights as they used to have a while ago. Civil parties in criminal cases, for instance, have a definitely stronger position now than at the beginning of this century.

Case-tailored assistance

In Europe, law enforcement mainly involves administrative law, criminal law and human rights, with a supranational dimension. Our knowledge of the many shapes of law enforcement increases. Policy fields where public authorities and citizens collaborate closely to achieve social goals, such as health care or care of the elderly and the conservation of historic buildings and monuments, require other enforcement models and strategies than policy areas without such collaborative pattern. Support for compliance assurance can be crucial. In each case again enforcement is a matter of an equilibrated balancing of effectiveness, proportionality, social economy, problem solving, protection against recidivism and respect for legal guarantees and for third parties that suffered damages.

The EQUAL-team assists its clients in legislative work and policy development. It offers support throughout enforcement trajectories to public authorities (federal, regional of local), companies, NGO’s and private citizens, in the administrative, criminal and civil sanctioning tracks.


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