Domain goods / expropriation
Administrative law is an exception-based set of regulations that encompass many facets (expropriation, public easements, pre-emption rights, concessions, etc.). All these aspects require specialist knowledge. Thanks to their many years of experience, GSJ have gained exceptional know-how that allows them to offer assistance in this area to public authorities, private individuals and companies.
Expropriation can be defined as the forced transfer of property in the public interest that involves the forfeiture of ownership and actual disqualification from property ownership. In this context, the public authorities can expropriate only under the conditions laid down in article 16 of the Constitution: “No one can be deprived of his property except in the case of expropriation for a public purpose, in the cases and manner established by the law and in return for fair compensation paid beforehand.”
The government can expropriate buildings and land in order, for example, to erect new buildings, to build roads or to lay sewers. Property rights can also be forfeited since the entry into force of the Flemish Expropriation Decree of 24 February 2017.
Over the years, GSJ have acquired extensive expertise in the field of expropriation and are frequently asked to offer their advice in the context of administrative and/or legal proceedings.
You can always count on GSJ in these key fields. We pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of the administrative phase and our many years of experience with the provisional and final adoption of expropriation decisions, project notes, redevelopment plans, public enquiries, applications involving autonomous implementation, etc. GSJ will also be happy to assist you during the judicial stage of the process.
When necessary, governments can levy taxes to finance public projects. Over the years, GSJ have acquired specialised knowledge that can be effectively applied to assist public authorities and private individuals and to offer them guidance in tax matters.
The law on domain goods
Domain goods are defined as property that belongs to legal bodies that are governed by public law, such as the State, the communities, the regions, the provinces, the municipalities, etc. In addition, a distinction must be drawn between private and public domain goods. Public domain goods are governed by a particular series of legal arrangements.
In principle, public domain goods are not subject to time limits and are not bought and sold. Furthermore, in principle no property rights can be established on public domain goods unless this does not jeopardise the aim and functioning of the public domain. As a result, a building lease or leasehold right, for example, can still be granted on property of this kind.
Issues involving the special status of public domain goods call for specialised knowledge, and in this regard GSJ have for many years been assisting both government agencies and private partners with advice and guidance in the area of domain goods.