Municipal administrative sanctions as part of anti-Covid measures: administration of criminal justice and respect for fundamental rights

Time period: November 2020 – October 2022

Description: The management of the health crisis in Belgium in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic led to an impressive number of measures, involving prohibitions and limitations of rights. The particularity of these measures is that they are adopted by the executive, which has special powers. In addition, they are the subject of a hybrid system of repression, entrusted both to the municipal authorities, which can impose municipal administrative sanctions, and to the public prosecutor’s office, within the framework of criminal proceedings. The situation has created confusion, insecurity and mistrust among the population. The research project intends to analyze the legislative production related to the repression of deviations from behavior imposed in the context of the health crisis and the sanctions that have been imposed since the beginning of the crisis, both administrative and penal sanctions.

The project is financed by the Belgian Scientific Research Fund (FNRS).

Research Team and contact: Christine Guillain ( and Diletta Tatti (, in collaboration with Alexia Jonckheere ( and Elodie Schils (