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II Legal framework

Seen with the naked eye, the idea of a statute or regulation including a sunset clause that determines its expiration after a fixed period or allows its renewal depending on the results of an evaluation may cause a certain ‘legal discomfort’. A ‘worse case’ scenario lurks behind the door: an experimental regulation, which derogates from an existing statute, and is only applicable to a small group of citizens. At first sight, these legislative instruments appear to challenge a number of fundamental principles. However, appearances are often misleading. In this second part of the book, it will be examined whether the principles of legal certainty, equal treatment and proportionality seriously constrain the enactment of sunset clauses and experimental legislation, or whether they ‘shape’ and provide guidance to these legislative instruments.

The principle of legal certainty

Law must be stable and yet it cannot stand still.

Roscoe Pound[1]

  • [1] Roscoe Pound, Interpretations of Legal History (Cambridge UniversityPress, 1923) I.
 
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