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Artikel

Kiezen voor stadsrepublieken? Over administratieve afhandeling van overlast in de steden

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid, Aflevering 2 2013
Trefwoorden social disorder, incivility, governance, communal sanctions, Mayor
Auteurs Elke Devroe
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The theme of governing anti-social behaviour and incivilities in the public space became more important on the policy and research agenda over the last twenty years. This article describes the law on incivilities in Belgium, namely the ‘administrative communal sanctions’ (GAS). This law is studied in a broader context of contemporary crime control and its organizing patterns. The development of the politics of behaviour can be explained by different characteristics of the period referred to as the late modernity. In the dissertation ‘A culture of control?’ (Devroe 2012) we studied the application and the concrete strategies behind the governance of incivilities on a national and on a city level. The incivility law broadened the competences of the Mayor and the city council especially in the completion of anti social behaviour and public disorder problems in his/her municipality. Instead of being dealt with on a traditional judicial way by the police magistrate, the Mayor can, by this law; himself lay on fines until maximum 250 euro. We mention ‘city republics’ as this punitive sanction became a locally assigned matter, which means that one municipality differs from another in their ‘incivility policy’. Due to the split up of competences of the Belgian state arrangements of 1988, each municipality finds itself framed in different political and organisational executive realities. In this view, Mayors can be called ‘presidents’ of their own municipality, keeping and controlling the process of tackling incivilities as their main responsibility and determining what behaviour had to be controlled and punished and what behaviour can be considered as normal decent behaviour in the public space. Problems of creating a ‘culture of control’, creating inequality for the poor, the beggars and the socially ‘unwanted’ can arise, especially in big cities.


Elke Devroe
Dr. Elke Devroe is Universitair Hoofddocent Criminologie bij het Instituut voor Strafrecht & Criminologie, Universiteit Leiden. E-mail: e.devroe@law.leidenuniv.nl
Artikel

Het herstelrechtelijk ongeloof in het concept bestraffing

Een verkenning op basis van het ‘last resort’-principe

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, Aflevering 3 2010
Trefwoorden bestraffing, abolitionisme, last resort, criminele gedragingen, leedtoevoeging
Auteurs Vicky De Mesmaecker
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Discussions in the movement of restorative justice about the fundamental question, whether its interventions are alternatives to punishment or alternative punishments, have become repetitive and seem to be in a dead end. The author reviews the arguments against the background of the ‘last resort’ principle in Husak’s work. Husak distinguishes between last resort in terms of sentencing and last resort in terms of criminalization. Since the restorative justice movement does not fundamentally reject the primary criminalisations, but accepts the definitions of certain forms of conduct as crime, it merely strives to offer alternatives to punishments that would otherwise be imposed. If protagonists of restorative justice want to avoid this, they should consider an abolitionist option to strive for decriminalization.


Vicky De Mesmaecker
Vicky De Mesmaecker is werkzaam aan het Leuvens Instituut voor Criminologie, K.U.Leuven.
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