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Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law proud of Sarah Deaney and Eline van Slijpe

On Tuesday 12 January 2021, the Leiden Law School thesis prizes were awarded at the New Year’s event.

The first prize went to Sarah Deaney. Supervised by Jonathan Huijts, Sarah wrote a thesis on (non)compensation for loss resulting from changes to zoning plans. Claims arise because potential opportunities for construction or the use of a person’s own premises are revesed, or are extended at nearby premises, as a result of changes to the zoning plan. This concerns a technical area of law that is held together by legal and non-legal fiction. As a result, issues arise in gaining compensation for loss resulting from changes to planning decisions. For example, government action such as the publication of intended policy or making draft zoning plans available for inspection, may cause the value of houses to fall. Compensation for loss resulting from these changed plans, however, is only considered once the proposed zoning plan has actually been adopted and is legally binding. These are major issues which unfortunately have never received serious attention from the legislature. Sarah did take these issues seriously and wrote a very good thesis on the subject. She sets out why loss resulting from changes to zoning plans is not considered for compensation, and how this can be remedied.

Eline van Slijpe wrote her thesis under the supervision of Willemien den Ouden and was awarded second prize. The motive for the thesis was concerns that have been voiced in the literature about the compatibility of the right to be heard in the Dutch General Administrative Law Act (Awb) and the principle of the rights of defence under Union law. On the basis of this principle, the recipient of a decision that would affect him or her adversely has the right to be heard at the administrative stage. Several authors call for codification of the principle of the rights of defence in the Awb. In her thesis, Eline examines whether these concerns are justified and whether codification is a fitting response.

The Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law is proud of Sarah and Eline and congratulates them both on their achievements. It also congratulates the winner of the third prize, Martin Hiess, whose thesis was supervised by Vasiliki Kosta of the Department of European Law. The presentation of the prizes can be viewed here

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