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Proposition for the Reform of Social Penal Law

NCJ Number
Revue de droit penal et de criminologie Volume: 60 Issue: 5 Dated: (May 1980) Pages: 431-442
H D Bosly
Date Published
12 pages
Belgian social (labor) laws are examined in terms of some suggested reforms regarding new penalties, the competence of the Labor Board (auditorship), and the penal and administrative liability of corporate entities.
Labor inspectors, entrusted with monitoring compliance with work safety regulations, workers' compensation, social security, and other social laws and statutes, appear to possess wide discretionary powers. Some definition of these powers is recommended--for example, in connection with a new type of sanction represented by an informal warning issued for an infraction. The informal warning can be given either instead of filing a written report, or prior to the latter step. Too many informal warnings are currently being issued in lieu of written reports, indicating an unwillingness on the part of labor inspectors to take the time and trouble to file formal reports. Some suggestions are made on how to make better use of the informal warning. The Labor Board (literally 'Auditorship') is a special department in the District Attorney's office whose competence is limited to prosecuting infractions of social (labor) laws, rules, and regulations. Extensions of the powers of this office are recommended. Other suggestions concern corporate liability, and the undesirability of criminal and administrative adjudication overlapping. Footnotes contain legal citations and bibliographic references.