Institutions and justice: Rule of law and justice for a strong democracy
A strong democracy needs strong and reliable institutions. The DP always strives to strengthen our institutions and make them more efficient in order to strengthen citizens’ trust in democracy and ensure the social and political stability of our country.
The defence of democratic values is firmly anchored in our DNA. After decades of preparatory work, the constitutional reform came into force in July this year. The Luxembourg Fundamental Law has been adapted to the political and social realities of the 21st century. The parliament was strengthened in its function, the judiciary was firmly anchored as the third power, and the fundamental rights and freedoms of the population were expanded.
We have made it easier for many people to vote with the help of several changes in the law. We will initiate a debate on the need for a major reform of the electoral law in the coming months. With the establishment of the Climate Citizens’ Council, we have set new standards in terms of citizen participation. It is our will to let citizens participate even more in political decision-making processes and to make the work of the state even more transparent.
After the new constitution comes into force in July and after the elections in October this year, the DP will initiate a debate on a general reform of the electoral system in parliament with the goal of working out a cross-party consensus on a fairer and more modern electoral law. The DP can imagine putting any cross-party proposals to a referendum.
The DP has set new standards for citizen participation in Luxembourg with the Climate Citizens’ Council set up by the Prime Minister. With the entry into force of the new constitution, citizens will have a new participatory instrument, the so-called “citizens’ initiative”, which they can use to submit legislative proposals to parliament themselves if their initiative receives enough support from the population.
The DP will take into account the conclusions of the Climate Citizens’ Council study commissioned by the government from the University of Luxembourg. It is important for us to take stock of this project and to further improve the organisation of future such projects. The DP will quickly implement the government’s legislative proposal to strengthen citizen participation at the local level, so that the new municipal councils can better involve their citizens in decision-making processes.
The DP will work to ensure that the possibility of electronic voting can make the electoral process easier for both voters and the relevant authorities without compromising the security of the elections. A digital election could avoid many obstacles and problems, such as unwanted invalid ballots or missed deadlines for postal voting. The counting of votes could also be faster thanks to technical aids.
The DP will create the legal basis for a full-time mayor in the municipalities. The financial framework and social protection will be revised. Only afterwards can a decision be taken with the other parties on a regulation of the double mandates.
Refer to chapter on Municipalities
Refer to the chapter on Housing
Refer to the chapter on Economic policy
With the so-called Transparency Law, the DP-led government has enshrined in law the right of access of all citizens to state documents. The experiences of the last few years have shown some potential for improvement, which we will use with a revision of the law to make the state institutions even more transparent.
The DP will also implement the principle of “Open Data” and digitalise government information and data in a first step and then make it available to the general public. Researchers, associations, businesses and ordinary citizens can work with this information in the public interest.
Refer to chapter on Municipalities
The DP intends to make greater use of the advantages of digitisation in the judiciary. The use of electronic systems enables faster and more efficient handling of court proceedings. This includes the electronic filing of documents, the electronic exchange of information between parties and courts, and the use of electronic administrative procedures. This accelerates the procedures and reduces the administrative burden. The DP will actively work to intensify these efforts and ensure that the use of fax machines soon becomes a thing of the past.
After a “procédure accélérée” (accelerated procedure) has already been introduced, the DP is also calling for the rapid introduction of the possibility of a “comparution immédiate” (immediate appearance in court) for perpetrators caught in the act or against whom there is overwhelming evidence. In this way, offenders are to be brought to justice as quickly as possible, which will lead to a considerable relief of the courts. Of course, even in the case of a “comparution immédiate” the general rights of the accused are respected.
The complexity of court proceedings is growing continuously. In order to do justice to this development and in line with the introduction of the “Family Judge” the DP is examining the possibility of introducing further specific specialised courts. As part of a pilot project, provision should be made for the recruitment of specialised magistrates, for example for proceedings relating to financial crime.
In 2015, the possibility of the “Jugement sur accord” (judgement by agreement) was introduced to shorten court proceedings and thus relieve the judiciary. However, defence lawyers state that the sentence proposed by the prosecution is rarely proportionate. The DP will review the use of ‘Jugement sur accord’ for its efficiency and advocate for greater use of this procedure.
The DP advocates the consistent prosecution and curbing of hate on the internet. We will take targeted action to strengthen legal tools against hate speech, discrimination and other forms of on-line bullying. By increasing investigative resources and working closely with relevant stakeholders, we will ensure that “hate on the net” is effectively prosecuted and victims are adequately protected. Thus, we want to create a safe and respectful digital environment for all users, especially young people.
The DP advocates a thorough analysis of the currently applicable “expulsion light”. Our goal is to have an open-ended discussion and to find out whether this measure actually offers added value. We want to collect all relevant aspects and experiences in order to be able to make an informed decision as to whether the light expulsion is sufficient or whether we should introduce a more comprehensive expulsion. This “real” expulsion is not a taboo subject for the DP.
The advantage of an expulsion is that it helps to maintain security and order quickly and effectively. The possibility to ban people who repeatedly show irregular behaviour from a certain place can prevent potential conflicts and disturbances. A banning order enables the authorities to respond quickly and appropriately to acute situations to ensure the welfare and safety of all involved.
The DP will conduct a thorough review of the current list of penalties and, if necessary, adapt it to current circumstances. After the introduction of the Prison Chamber, we will also examine in this context whether the introduction of a judge for the execution of sentences (“Juge pour l’application des peines”) makes sense.
Furthermore, we want to allow electronic monitoring by means of an ankle bracelet (“bracelet électronique”) also in pre-trial detention.
Many civil cases could be avoided through mediation (managed mediation). The DP will therefore continue to promote this form of conflict resolution.
The professional secrecy of lawyers is closely linked to the right of defence and serves primarily to protect clients. It allows clients to provide their lawyer with all relevant information, including information that could potentially be incriminating. The DP will ensure that professional secrecy is not restricted unless there is a compelling need to combat terrorism and money laundering. Care will be taken to ensure that such interference does not disproportionately affect the fundamental right to defence.
The DP will analyse in detail the status of the detained worker with regard to his social security contributions. We will investigate,
what legal provisions and regulations apply to prisoners and whether there are any obstacles or restrictions that hinder their ability to pay social security contributions. In addition, we will examine the impact of the scheme on the resocialisation of prisoners and their long-term reintegration into society.
in 2022, a new Weapons Act came into force in Luxembourg. The Chamber of Deputies has undertaken to conduct a qualitative evaluation of this law after three years. The DP takes this obligation seriously and intends to analyse the application of the law after three years and make any necessary adjustments.
The notary’s office is one of the most regulated professions in Luxembourg. However, since the legal framework has not been adapted for some time, the tasks are becoming increasingly complex and the number of notaries has not kept pace with the general population development over the past decades, there is a clear need for modernisation in order to adapt the profession of notary to the requirements of the 21st century. The DP will therefore subject the legal framework to a profound analysis and modernise it from the ground up. In this context, the DP will consider liberalising the profession along French lines. In this model, a minimum regional coverage is set so that citizens in all regions of the country have access to the services of a notary.
Experience has shown that repressive drug policies have not been effective in recent decades. In a first step, the DP-led government has therefore released cannabis cultivation for personal use under strict regulations.
In a second step, cannabis products are also to be distributed to adults in state-controlled sales outlets, while at the same time drug tourism is to be prevented. This would be a significant blow against the illegal drug trade, the core business of many criminal organisations. A pilot project will initially allow for initial assessments to pave the way for a controlled state sale of cannabis in Luxembourg in the future.
The revenues generated by the state sale are to flow into the prevention and information work of corresponding initiatives and counselling centres within the framework of drug help and counselling. However, de-tabooising cannabis use should in no way lead to trivialising drug use.
Refer to the chapter Digitisation and Media
Refer to the chapter on Financial Centre