The role of the Belgian declaratory action in the pursuit of non-compensatory goals of extra-contractual liability law
PhD student: Dr P. Gillaerts
Promotors: S. Voet, Mrs Prof I. Samoy
Duration: 1/9/2016 - 31/8/2020
PhD defence: Leuven, 19/6/2020
Tort claims are used for other goals than to obtain damages, but parties are confronted with procedural hurdles. The research ties in with the ongoing debate on the enforceability of non-compensatory goals in tort law from the angle of Belgian civil procedure. The research critically examines the non-compensatory goals of Belgian tort law. It provides a fundamental overview, embedded in the convergence of public and private law. It explores the civil procedural instruments available for pursuing the non-compensatory goals of Belgian tort law. The research then thoroughly evaluates the identified civil procedural instruments to identify any restrictions (e.g. conditions, scope) encountered when pursuing non-compensatory goals. The research also analyses the action for declaratory relief in Dutch, German, French and Swiss law. The research compares its goals and conditions and identifies its strengths and weaknesses. It evaluates what lessons can be drawn from the comparative research for the Belgian civil procedural framework. Afterwards, the research examines how the existing civil procedural framework can be improved, given the examination of that framework and the comparative insights. It weighs the possibilities for improvement to determine how the non-compensatory goals of Belgian tort law should be enforced through civil procedural instruments.