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See detailDu jeu à la vidéo : projection de machinimas
Barnabé, Fanny ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2016)

Découvrez les univers de MMORPG sous un autre angle : à travers les réappropriations qu'en font les joueurs. Le mardi 10 à 17h au PointCulture de Louvain-la-Neuve se tiendra en effet une projection de « ... [more ▼]

Découvrez les univers de MMORPG sous un autre angle : à travers les réappropriations qu'en font les joueurs. Le mardi 10 à 17h au PointCulture de Louvain-la-Neuve se tiendra en effet une projection de « machinimas », ces vidéos réalisées par les joueurs à partir d'enregistrements de sessions de jeux (le terme provient d'ailleurs de la contraction des mots anglais « machine » et « cinema »). Ces œuvres (qui peuvent aller du sketch humoristique au film de fiction, en passant par le clip musical) illustrent l'une des façons par lesquelles les joueurs – non contents d'arpenter les univers des jeux massivement multijoueurs – peuvent manipuler et transformer ces jeux en les utilisant comme matériau pour produire des œuvres créatives. Un échantillon de vidéos vous sera présenté par Fanny Barnabé, doctorante à l'Université de Liège, afin d'évoquer une série d'enjeux liés à cette pratique de détournement du jeu vidéo. [less ▲]

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See detailA new classification of earthquake-induced landslide event sizes based on seismotectonic, topographic, climatic and geologic factors
Havenith, Hans-Balder ULg; Torgoev, Almazbek ULg; Braun, Anika et al

in Geoenvironmental Disasters (2016), 3(6), 2-24

Background This paper reviews the classical and some particular factors contributing to earthquake-triggered landslide activity. This analysis should help predict more accurately landslide event sizes ... [more ▼]

Background This paper reviews the classical and some particular factors contributing to earthquake-triggered landslide activity. This analysis should help predict more accurately landslide event sizes, both in terms of potential numbers and affected area. It also highlights that some occurrences, especially those very far from the hypocentre/activated fault, cannot be predicted by state-of-the-art methods. Particular attention will be paid to the effects of deep focal earthquakes in Central Asia and to other extremely distant landslide activations in other regions of the world (e.g. Saguenay earthquake 1988, Canada). Results The classification of seismically induced landslides and the related ‘event sizes’ is based on five main factors: ‘Intensity’, ‘Fault factor’, ‘Topographic energy’, ‘Climatic background conditions’, ‘Lithological factor’. Most of these data were extracted from papers, but topographic inputs were checked by analyzing the affected region in Google Earth. The combination and relative weight of the factors was tested through comparison with well documented events and complemented by our studies of earthquake-triggered landslides in Central Asia. The highest relative weight (6) was attributed to the ‘Fault factor’; the other factors all received a smaller relative weight (2–4). The high weight of the ‘Fault factor’ (based on the location in/outside the mountain range, the fault type and length) is strongly constrained by the importance of the Wenchuan earthquake that, for example, triggered far more landslides in 2008 than the Nepal earthquake in 2015: the main difference is that the fault activated by the Wenchuan earthquake created an extensive surface rupture within the Longmenshan Range marked by a very high topographic energy while the one activated by the Nepal earthquake ruptured the surface in the frontal part of the Himalayas where the slopes are less steep and high. Finally, the calibrated factor combination was applied to almost 100 other earthquake events for which some landslide information was available. This comparison revealed the ability of the classification to provide a reasonable estimate of the number of triggered landslides and of the size of the affected area. According to this prediction, the most severe earthquake-triggered landslide event of the last one hundred years would actually be the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 followed by the 1950 Assam earthquake in India – considering that the dominating role of the Wenchuan earthquake data (including the availability of a complete landslide inventory) for the weighting of the factors strongly influences and may even bias this result. The strongest landslide impacts on human life in recent history were caused by the Haiyuan-Gansu earthquake in 1920 – ranked as third most severe event according to our classification: its size is due to a combination of high shaking intensity, an important ‘Fault factor’ and the extreme susceptibility of the regional loess cover to slope failure, while the surface morphology of the affected area is much smoother than the one affected by the Wenchuan 2008 or the Nepal 2015 earthquakes. Conclusions The main goal of the classification of earthquake-triggered landslide events is to help improve total seismic hazard assessment over short and longer terms. Considering the general performance of the classification-prediction, it can be seen that the prediction either fits or overestimates the known/observed number of triggered landslides for a series of earthquakes, while it often underestimates the size of the affected area. For several events (especially the older ones), the overestimation of the number of landslides can be partly explained by the incompleteness of the published catalogues. The underestimation of the extension of the area, however, is real – as some particularities cannot be taken into account by such a general approach: notably, we used the same seismic intensity attenuation for all events, while attenuation laws are dependent on regional tectonic and geological conditions. In this regard, it is likely that the far-distant triggering of landslides, e.g., by the 1988 Saguenay earthquake (and the related extreme extension of affected area) is due to a very low attenuation of seismic energy within the North American plate. Far-distant triggering of landslides in Central Asia can be explained by the susceptibility of slopes covered by thick soft soils to failure under the effect of low-frequency shaking induced by distant earthquakes, especially by the deep focal earthquakes in the Pamir – Hindukush seismic region. Such deep focal and high magnitude (> > 7) earthquakes are also found in Europe, first of all in the Vrancea region (Romania). For this area as well as for the South Tien Shan we computed possible landslide event sizes related to some future earthquake scenarios. [less ▲]

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See detailIntegrating Corporate Sustainability Assessment, Management Accounting, Control, and Reporting
Maas, Karen; Schaltegger, Stefan; Crutzen, Nathalie ULg

in Journal of Cleaner Production (2016)

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See detailImplementing principles of Quality by Design (QbD) in validation context
Hubert, Cédric ULg; Lebrun, Pierre ULg; Rozet, Eric et al

Conference (2016, May 10)

Analytical method performances have to be specified by the analyst trough the definition of the “Analytical Target Profile (ATP)”, as proposed by the regulatory bodies. In the specific context of the ... [more ▼]

Analytical method performances have to be specified by the analyst trough the definition of the “Analytical Target Profile (ATP)”, as proposed by the regulatory bodies. In the specific context of the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory authorities have recently imposed the assessment and management of risk throughout the entire product lifecycle. This includes the analytical procedure and consequently its own lifecycle. The development step of an analytical method is still largely addressed using a “Changing One Separate Factor a Time (COST)” approach (also known as the “Quality-by-Testing (QbT)” approach). This strategy can lead to a suitable method for assessing the risk of routine use, even where the experimental domain is not examined. However, in order to consider an experimental domain rather than a set of specific experimental conditions during the development phase, a multivariate approach must be considered: the “Quality-by-Design (QbD)” strategy. This strategy allows the definition of a “Design Space (DS)” by means of design of experiments (DoE). This DS, computed considering critical method parameters, allows the analyst to focus on the main objective of an analytical method: obtaining reliable results using a robust method. In the course of a specific case study, the benefits of the QbD strategy in terms of managing the qualitative part of the analytical process were highlighted. Working in the context of analytical procedure, the validation step is a major part of the analytical method lifecycle. Indeed, the objective of analytical method validation is to demonstrate that this method is suited for quantifying the target analytes with an established and suitable level of accuracy, as defined by the “ATP”. This is sometimes called the “fit-for-future-purpose” concept. The decision regarding the validity of a method based on prediction can be achieved by using the “β-expectation tolerance interval” (accuracy profile). The capability of this approach to manage the quantitative part of the analytical procedure is nowadays largely illustrated in scientific literatures. Considering the assessment and management of risk throughout the analytical lifecycle, a global strategy allowing the unification of the development and validation phases in a single step was considered. With this innovative approach, a strategy allowing the management of global analytical risk (i.e., for both qualitative and quantitative part of the analytical method) was proposed. Indeed, the developed strategy allows validating an entire experimental domain by means of the accuracy profile rather than a single set of specific experimental conditions. With this strategy, the DS is no longer simply the place where qualitative performances are obtained, but also the space where quantitative performances of the analytical procedure are assessed and managed. [less ▲]

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See detailRéférentiels psychopédagogiques en Belgique francophone: un outil de professionnalisation ?
Pirard, Florence ULg

Conference (2016, May 10)

L'élaboration d'un curriculum pour les services d'accueil des jeunes enfants constitue l'un des leviers pour une qualité de services (OECD 2001, 2006, 2012). Elle pose ensuite la question de l ... [more ▼]

L'élaboration d'un curriculum pour les services d'accueil des jeunes enfants constitue l'un des leviers pour une qualité de services (OECD 2001, 2006, 2012). Elle pose ensuite la question de l'accompagnement de sa diffusion dans une visée de professionnalisation, et non de standardisation. [less ▲]

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See detailDe l’usage des « carnets de recherche » accompagnant la parution des revues sur OpenEdition
Mayeur, Ingrid ULg

Conference (2016, May 10)

Les portails de diffusion des revues numériques en sciences humaines permettent la communication d’annonces, billets et actualités lié aux périodiques édités. Ces genres textuels sont soit pris en charge ... [more ▼]

Les portails de diffusion des revues numériques en sciences humaines permettent la communication d’annonces, billets et actualités lié aux périodiques édités. Ces genres textuels sont soit pris en charge par le site même de la revue, soit diffusés sur un blog d’accompagnement – qui peut également jouer un rôle de veille scientifique, de réflexion et d’échange. Dans le cadre de ma recherche doctorale sur les modes de circulation du savoir au sein des plateformes numériques de la recherche en sciences humaines, je voudrais étudier au moyen des outils classiques d’analyse du discours, de l’étude des écrits d’écran et des processus d’éditorialisation les spécificités des textes véhiculés sur ces blogs, et leur complémentarité avec le site de la revue. Comment le portail de diffusion contraint-il la publication de textes liés à la revue? Quels sont les genres textuels mis en œuvre dans l’accompagnement d’un périodique ? De quelle manière l’actualité (annonce de parution, appel à contribution) se voit-elle corrélée au contenu même du périodique ? Mon étude portera essentiellement sur la plateforme OpenEdition, et les carnets de recherche Hypotheses accompagnant une revue en ligne diffusée sur Revues.org. J’observerai aussi, de manière contrastive, la gestion de ces flux d’actualité par un autre portail, Erudit.org. [less ▲]

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See detailThe transition to parenthood among lesbian couples
Naziri, Despina ULg

Scientific conference (2016, May 10)

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See detailBelgian Financial Research Forum
Platania, Federico ULg; Lambert, Marie ULg

Scientific conference (2016, May 10)

This paper examines the dynamic trading strategies implemented by hedge fund managers using a Kalman filter of hedge fund betas across styles. We further investigate the risk drivers of dynamic trades ... [more ▼]

This paper examines the dynamic trading strategies implemented by hedge fund managers using a Kalman filter of hedge fund betas across styles. We further investigate the risk drivers of dynamic trades, examining which conditioning/macroeconomic variables strongly lead the time variation in fund trades. We report the significance of macroeconomic factors such as interest rates, dividend yield, GDP growth and US unemployment. We show that hedge fund managers do control the intensity of their exposures according to economic uncertainty and that differences between up- and down-market regimes can be observed. Commonly, Hedge funds tend to dislike high-dividend paying stocks. Besides, all hedge fund styles are shown to display pro-cyclical exposures towards directional equity factors as well as credit and liquidity risks. Small growth stocks, however, are revealed to be crisis investments whose allocation increases with unemployment, inflation or volatility. As volatility increases, the value of growth options embedded into growth stocks indeed increases. Growth stocks are shown to hedge market reversals and volatility. The outperformance of growth companies in recessions might also relate to their cost flexibility. Allocation to small stocks embed strong micro risks and might also constitute a hedge in economic slowdowns. This might explain why some funds with such a particular investment focus appear to be countercyclical. [less ▲]

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See detailLes normes étatiques relatives à la modération des rémunérations et le droit de négociation collective
Kéfer, Fabienne ULg

Conference (2016, May 10)

Les récentes lois des 23 et 28 mars 2015 fixant la marge d'évolution du coût salarial et organisant un saut d'index empêchent les partenaires sociaux de fixer librement l'évolution des salaires. Ces lois ... [more ▼]

Les récentes lois des 23 et 28 mars 2015 fixant la marge d'évolution du coût salarial et organisant un saut d'index empêchent les partenaires sociaux de fixer librement l'évolution des salaires. Ces lois sont-elles ou non conformes aux dispositions supralégislatives? [less ▲]

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See detailThe influence of COMT single nucleotide polymorphism (rs4680) on the neural substrates of working memory representations maintenance in healthy aging
Manard, Marine ULg; François, Sarah ULg; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg et al

Poster (2016, May 10)

The COMT val108/158met polymorphism was associated to the dopaminergic modulation in the brain, and therefore stimulated research on its influence for cognitive functioning and particularly working memory ... [more ▼]

The COMT val108/158met polymorphism was associated to the dopaminergic modulation in the brain, and therefore stimulated research on its influence for cognitive functioning and particularly working memory. First, a general advantage of carrying the met allele was reported. However, many studies used tasks that did not allow efficiently assessing the contribution of manipulation and maintenance processes in working memory, leading to divergent results, in both young and older populations, resulting in debates about the exact phenotypic effect of the COMT polymorphism. Using fMRI, this study was designed to assess the potential effect of the COMT polymorphism on age-related differences in working memory representations maintenance abilities (Sternberg paradigm). Partial Least Squares method was used to determine the brain-behavior correlations at low, intermediate, and high cognitive demands among young and older groups, homozygous for the val or for the met allele. First, young val/val showed some disadvantages at brain and behavioral level compared to their m/m counterparts. However, in older adults subgroups, the m/m participants tended to show greater age-related difference (when compared to younger adults with similar genotype), suggesting an advantage in carrying the val allele when dopamine signaling is not at optimal efficiency (optimal: young/middle adulthood vs suboptimal: childhood or older ages). These results will be discussed in regard to compensating theories and dopaminergic models accounting for the potential effect of COMT polymorphism on stability/flexibility abilities. [less ▲]

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See detailHow to specify the environmental footprint of electricity? A methodological approach
Belboom, Sandra ULg; Léonard, Angélique ULg

Conference (2016, May 09)

When assessing the environmental footprint of a product or an industrial process, ma-jor impacts in climate change and resources depletion are usually linked to direct or indi-rect energy consumptions ... [more ▼]

When assessing the environmental footprint of a product or an industrial process, ma-jor impacts in climate change and resources depletion are usually linked to direct or indi-rect energy consumptions. Focusing on electricity generation, largely dispersed results can appear for the concerned impact categories depending on the energy mix taken into account. An accurate knowledge of the mix is of major importance for the prediction of the environmental footprint of electricity. As this mix changes from one country to another and through time, regular update is needed to obtain an accurate value of impact for the studied product. Another criteria to also take into account is the specific technology used to generate electricity depending on the primary energy (gas, coal, uranium, sun, wind, etc.). This study aims to generate a simplified tool, containing sufficient data to assess, within a range of 10 % uncertainty, the value of the environmental footprint of electricity, based on a limited amount of accessible parameters. The global life cycle of electricity generation is taken into account, from the resources extraction to the end-of-life. This is essential to be able to compare, on a same basis, the renewable and classical resources for electricity generation. The functional unit of this study for numerical applications is 1 MWhe. To achieve our goal, the following methodological approach has been pursued. First, the energy mix for electricity generation has been collected trough years for different countries. Then a deeper study of specific technologies relative to each kind of primary energy consumption has been performed. Meta-analyses relative to LCA results have been studied to highlight the main important criteria of these technologies. Then, the amount of needed data for the environmental assessment of these technologies has been reduced to the main important ones. The step further is about the use of these data to obtain an available tool to predict the environmental footprint of electricity depending mainly on the energy mix and used technologies. The environmental impact of 1 MWhe can then be easily calculated using this tool in several categories as climate change, acidification, ozone layer depletion, etc. using the ILCD method. Concerning the resources depletion assessment, all available methodolo-gies have been studied with a specific focus on the CEENE method using an exergetic assessment of resources. This method allows the highlighting of the use of energy and all types of resources (fossil, renewable like wind, sun or land). This perspective can also be used to discriminate several resources for the electricity production. A comparison of the results obtained using resources impact methods has then been performed and some challenges concerning the use of existing impact pathways have been highlighted as well as some perspectives to tackle them. This research has been supported by the Public Service of Wallonia – Department of Energy and Sustainable Building within the framework of the ECEB project [less ▲]

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See detailImproving probiotic viability and functionality by bioreactors engineering
Nguyen, Huu Thanh ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

There is a growing market for probiotic bacteria, but their production is still the subject to technical limitations, i.e. susceptibility to the stress conditions found during upstream and downstream ... [more ▼]

There is a growing market for probiotic bacteria, but their production is still the subject to technical limitations, i.e. susceptibility to the stress conditions found during upstream and downstream operations. In this work, we have investigated the effect of cultivation and drying conditions on Bifidobacterium bifidum MG 25628, a probiotic bacteria being particularly sensitive to bioprocessing conditions. Previous results have shown that microbial physiology, and the ability of microbes to cope with stress, is dependent of the growth rate and the growth phase. It is also known that the preliminary exposure of microbial cells to sub-lethal stress enhance its robustness. Accordingly, the effect of the exposure of B. bifidum in a two-compartment reactor designed in order to expose the strain to different temperature conditions was investigated. We found that the exposure of B. bifidum at 42°C for 1h at the onset of the stationary phase enhanced significantly survival after freeze-drying. It appeared that the increase in cell survival was attributed to the induction of the synthesis and an exopolysaccharide layer surrounding the cells. The method involving the exposure of the strain to sub-lethal temperature stress was further successfully scaled-up to a bioreactor volume of 2000 L. EPS synthesis can also be stimulated by sparing the bioreactor with carbon dioxide. In this context, we investigated the EPS yield in two specific bioreactor designs for the intensification of the CO2 gas-liquid mass transfer, i.e. a trickle bed and a falling-film microreactor. Depending of the operating conditions, these two bioreactor configurations led to a significant improvement in EPS synthesis (around 21 g/L). Extensive comparative proteomic analysis confirmed the impact on CO2 mass transfer on cell physiology, notably by enhancing the intracellular concentration of two key enzymes implied in carbonate uptake, i.e. phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and carbamoyl phosphate synthase. Taken altogether, these results point out that biochemical engineering parameters can be used as a very efficient strategy for improving probiotic robustness. Additionally, this non-GMO approach is more suited to the consumer expectations. [less ▲]

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See detailA class of valid inequalities for multilinear 0-1 optimization problems
Crama, Yves ULg; Rodriguez Heck, Elisabeth ULg

E-print/Working paper (2016)

This paper investigates the polytope associated with the classical standard linearization technique for the unconstrained optimization of multilinear polynomials in 0-1 variables. A new class of valid ... [more ▼]

This paper investigates the polytope associated with the classical standard linearization technique for the unconstrained optimization of multilinear polynomials in 0-1 variables. A new class of valid inequalities, called 2-links, is introduced to strengthen the LP relaxation of the standard linearization. The addition of the 2-links to the standard linearization inequalities provides a complete description of the convex hull of integer solutions for the case of functions consisting of at most two nonlinear monomials. For the general case, various computational experiments show that the 2- links improve both the standard linearization bound and the computational performance of exact branch & cut methods. The improvements are especially significant for a class of instances inspired from the image restoration problem in computer vision. The magnitude of this effect is rather surprising in that the 2-links are in relatively small number (quadratic in the number of terms of the objective function). [less ▲]

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See detailLife cycle assessment of sound insulation solution made from waste paper
Groslambert, Sylvie ULg; Ernst, Valentin; Léonard, Angélique ULg

Poster (2016, May 09)

Buildings notably contribute to global environmental negative impacts due to con-sumption of both embodied energy and natural resources as well as various emissions during their whole life cycle. It is ... [more ▼]

Buildings notably contribute to global environmental negative impacts due to con-sumption of both embodied energy and natural resources as well as various emissions during their whole life cycle. It is therefore necessary to develop practices to reduce these impacts, mainly by reducing the part of non-renewable resource in material as well as by ensuring the lowest energy consumption possible during their lifetime. For instance, the use of recycled raw materials can lead to significant improvement in building environmental impact. In this context, the Life Cycle in Practice (LCiP) project helps SMEs to reduce the environmental impacts of their products and services across the entire life cycle. Within the frame of this project, Pan-Terre (BE) Acoustix panel impact is evaluated in a cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment (LCA). Evaluation of environmental performance is needed to support both the design and the production of waste based insulation solutions. Manufactured for the last twenty past years, the Acoustix Pan-Terre panel is designed for airborne sound insulation in walls and or floors. This product can only be obtained by mixing in a sensible way two raw materials from cellulose origin, recycled paper and broken shives of flax. Functional unit is 1 m² of panel ready for shipping. Acoustix panels are made by pressing a mix of cellulose from waste paper, flax shives and water. Scraps materials are entirely recycled in the process. Flax cultivation has a favourable impact on the climate change indicator due to carbon dioxide uptake for the photosynthesis occurring during the plant growth. But the drying of the panels is largely contributing to fossil fuel depletion and climate change due to natural gas burners. Life Cycle Assessment of Acoustix sound insulating panels ready to ship highlights some improvements that can be made by optimisation of the drying technology and the (partial) replacement of natural gas burners by alternative fuel burners (such as waste paper and scrap materials). Data are processed in SimaPro 8.1 software, with Ecoinvent 3 and ELCD 3 databases, and analyzed with the CML IA method. This method is compliant with the indicators required by EN15804 standard in order to communicate on the environmental performance of Acoustix panels. [less ▲]

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See detailEstetrol, a natural SERM exhibiting combined estrogenic and antiestrogenic properties on mammary gland and breast cancer
Gérard, Céline ULg; Gallez, Anne ULg; BLACHER, Silvia ULg et al

Conference (2016, May 09)

The increased risk of breast cancer and thromboembolism in women who take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) currently is a major public health problem. The discovery of novel molecules with better safety ... [more ▼]

The increased risk of breast cancer and thromboembolism in women who take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) currently is a major public health problem. The discovery of novel molecules with better safety profile would provide useful advances for patient care. Estretrol (E4) appears as a promising candidate for HRT. Indeed, in contrast to current treatment containing ethinyl estradiol or estradiol (E2), E4 has a minimal impact on liver cells activity supporting a decreased incidence on thromboembolic events. In preclinical studies, E4 has been effective against the main symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, vaginal atrophy, and osteoporosis, from a starting dose of 0.3 mg/kg/day. The aim of this study was to define the impact of E4 on mammary gland and breast cancer development when it is used at concentrations effective for menopause symptom relief. We report preclinical data showing that E4 is less efficient than E2 to induce mammary gland growth. Treatment of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer with several concentrations of E4 has shown that 0.3 mg/kg/day E4 did not increase tumor development. However, at 3mg/kg/day, E4 increased the growth of hormone-dependent tumors and their metastatic dissemination in ovariectomized and intact mice. This effect was similar to the one observed with E2 used at 0.08 mg/kg/day. E4 presents also some anti-estrogenic effects on mammary gland and antitumor activity on breast cancer by decreasing the strong proliferative effect of E2. While ERα is the predominant receptor mediating its effects, the dual weak-estrogenic/anti-estrogenic feature of E4 results from differential signaling pathways activation. Both nuclear and rapid extranuclear signaling pathways are necessary for a complete estrogenic effect of E4. However, the antitumor action of E4 is not due to a capacity to antagonize E2-induced nuclear activity. In conclusion, our results support that E4, if it is used in strictly controlled clinical applications, could have no or only limited impact on breast and breast cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailLes outils géomatiques dans le projet ExTraCar
Cornet, Yves ULg

Conference (2016, May 09)

Detailed reference viewed: 80 (2 ULg)
See detailCollective spontaneous emission with quantized atomic motion
Damanet, François ULg; Braun, Daniel; Martin, John ULg

Scientific conference (2016, May 09)

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See detailLa portabilité du statut personnel dans l’espace européen : De l’émergence d’un droit fondamental à l’élaboration d’une méthode de la reconnaissance
Pfeiff, Silvia ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Opposer un refus de reconnaissance au statut personnel d’un individu revient à renier une partie de son identité. Le fait que des citoyens européens puissent subir les inconvénients liés à la survenance ... [more ▼]

Opposer un refus de reconnaissance au statut personnel d’un individu revient à renier une partie de son identité. Le fait que des citoyens européens puissent subir les inconvénients liés à la survenance d’un statut ‘boiteux’ lors de l’exercice de leur liberté de circulation est-il compatible avec les droits et libertés garantis par la Convention européenne des droits de l’homme et les Traités européens ? Cette question était à l’origine de notre recherche doctorale. Celle-ci nous a menés à nous interroger sur l’étendue des droits et libertés européens, tels qu’ils découlent de la jurisprudence de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme et de la Cour de justice de l’Union européenne, et à explorer les pistes de solutions que recèle aujourd’hui le droit européen en tant que cadre supranational pour l’ensemble des États membres. Sous l’impulsion motrice de la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme et de la Cour de justice de l’Union européenne, la protection de la portabilité du statut personnel a connu ces dernières années des développements sans précédent. Il s’imposait dès lors de dégager les lignes directrices de cette importante œuvre prétorienne. Celles-ci s’imposent, de lege lata, aux États membres dès lors qu’ils envisagent de refuser de reconnaître le statut personnel d’un citoyen européen cristallisé dans un autre État membre. Il peut, à notre sens, être déduit de cette jurisprudence qu’un refus de reconnaissance du statut personnel constitue une ingérence dans le droit à la vie privée et familiale, lorsque la personne concernée nourrissait une confiance légitime en la permanence de son statut. Un tel refus risque également, par ricochet, de priver la personne de certains droits patrimoniaux liés à son statut, tel un droit successoral ou une créance alimentaire. La reconnaissance pourrait alors devenir un préalable nécessaire au respect de ses biens et, par conséquent, son refus constituer une ingérence à ce droit fondamental. Dans certaines circonstances, le refus de reconnaissance peut également porter atteinte au principe d’égalité ainsi qu’au droit à un procès équitable, pour autant que le statut personnel découle d’une décision judiciaire. Enfin, la discontinuité du statut personnel peut constituer une entrave à la liberté de circulation et porter atteinte à la citoyenneté européenne. Dès lors, l’existence d’un droit fondamental du citoyen européen à la permanence de son statut personnel acquis dans un État membre nous paraît s’inscrire dans la droite ligne des principes fixés par les deux Hautes juridictions européennes. Ce droit n’est cependant pas absolu. La jurisprudence tant strasbourgeoise que luxembourgeoise admet – dans des mesures comparables au demeurant – que l’État d’accueil puisse refuser de reconnaître le statut personnel acquis à l’étranger, pour autant que cela s’avère nécessaire à la protection de son intérêt légitime. Ces considérations nous ont amenés à conclure que les motifs abstraits de refus de reconnaissance traditionnellement retenus en droit international privé ne devraient plus permettre de justifier, à eux seuls, un refus de reconnaissance dans le contexte intra-européen. Ainsi, nous pensons que l’État d’accueil ne devrait plus pouvoir refuser de reconnaître un statut cristallisé dans un autre État membre pour le seul motif qu’il n’a pas été établi conformément à la loi désignée par sa règle de conflit, ou que l’État membre d’origine ne pré-sente pas de liens jugés suffisants avec la personne concernée. Si le refus de reconnaissance ne s’appuie pas, en outre, sur la volonté de protéger un intérêt légitime du for, il ne répondrait pas aux critères fixés par la jurisprudence européenne. En effet, le respect d’une règle abstraite de conflit de lois ou d’une exigence de liens suffisants ne paraît pas constituer un objectif légitime suffisant aux yeux des deux Cours européennes. La protection de ces règles abstraites ne semble, au demeurant, pas proportionnée à l’atteinte portée au droit à la permanence du statut personnel. De lege lata, nous estimons que seules l’exception de fraude, entendue très étroitement, et l’exception d’ordre public pourraient justifier, à elles seules, un refus de reconnaissance. Le cadre général ainsi posé, nous nous sommes consacrés dans la seconde partie de notre recherche – que nous avons voulue créative – à tenter de tracer, à la lumière de la jurisprudence européenne, les contours d’une méthode européenne de la reconnaissance. Cette méthode est une variante de ce qu’il est communément admis d’appeler la, ou les méthode(s) de la reconnaissance. La variante que nous préconisons est construite sur le principe selon lequel, afin d’assurer la portabilité du statut personnel au sein de l’Union européenne, la reconnaissance du statut cristallisé dans un État membre doit être la règle et les refus de reconnaissance l’exception, qu’il appartient à l’État d’accueil de justifier. En application de la méthode européenne de la reconnaissance, l’autorité d’accueil doit reconnaître le statut personnel d’une personne dès que celui-ci a été cristallisé dans un acte émanant d’une autorité publique d’un État membre, matériellement compétente pour ce faire, sans devoir vérifier au préalable sa validité. Elle peut cependant refuser de reconnaître le statut étranger si, et seulement si, ce refus apparaît nécessaire à la sauvegarde d’un intérêt fondamental de l’État d’accueil. Ce refus de reconnaissance prend alors la forme d’une exception européenne d’ordre public. Celle-ci systématise la mise en balance entre l’atteinte portée au droit à la permanence du statut personnel et l’intérêt légitime de l’État d’accueil poursuivi par le refus de reconnaissance. De surcroît, si l’État d’accueil est internationalement compétent pour ce faire, il peut annuler le statut étranger dans les mêmes conditions que l’État d’origine. Dans le cadre du contentieux de l’annulation, la validité du statut étranger est alors appréciée au regard des règles applicables dans l’ordre juridique d’origine, en tenant tout particulièrement compte des motifs de couverture éventuelle des nullités et de la titularité des personnes autorisées à soulever celle-ci. La méthode proposée pourrait, à notre sens, être traduite dans un Règlement européen, ce qui faciliterait incontestablement sa mise en œuvre. Afin de vérifier la faisabilité de la méthode européenne proposée, nous avons testé son application sur les situations potentiellement boiteuses épinglées lors d’un examen de droit comparé portant sur la circulation de quatre éléments du statut personnel au sein de quatre États membres. Les éléments du statut personnel sélectionnés étaient le nom de fa-mille, le mariage, le partenariat enregistré et le lien de filiation biologique. L’examen a porté sur les droits belge, français, allemand et anglais. Il a permis de mettre en évidence quelques-uns des atouts et faiblesses de la méthode proposée, que nous avons exposés dans le dernier chapitre de notre thèse et que nous résumons ci-dessous. La méthode européenne de la reconnaissance présente l’avantage d’offrir une réponse unique à la question de la portabilité du statut personnel. La distinction méthodologique traditionnellement retenue en fonction de la nature judiciaire ou non de l’acte à reconnaître est abandonnée. Elle permet d’éviter une grande partie des situations potentiellement boiteuses épinglées lors de notre examen de droit comparé, notamment en écartant le contrôle conflictuel et les autres motifs abstraits de refus de reconnaissance. La question de la qualification du statut établi à l’étranger se pose par conséquent avec moins d’acuité. Par ailleurs, elle met un terme à plusieurs débats actuels référencés au cours de nos travaux et apporte une réponse à des situations de vide juridique. Le postulat de la reconnaissance simplifie la circulation du statut personnel, puisque ce n’est qu’en cas de doute sur la compatibilité de l’accueil avec l’ordre public du for que l’autorité saisie procèdera à un examen plus approfondi de la situation qui lui est présentée. Dans la grande majorité des situations, le statut personnel circulera sans aucun réel contrôle au fond. L’approche concrète promue par la méthode proposée suscite cependant une difficulté particulière, qui n’existe pas, ou seulement dans une moindre mesure, dans l’application des règles abstraites de droit international privé étudiées. Il s’agit de la résolution des statuts inconciliables. Les approches traditionnelles, consistant à donner priorité au statut cristallisé dans l’ordre juridique d’accueil ou à appliquer un critère temporel, sont en effet écartées en faveur d’une approche concrète mettant en balance tous les intérêts en cause. S’agissant d’une méthode classiquement utilisée pour résoudre les conflits de droits fondamentaux, on connaît les difficultés et critiques auxquelles elle s’expose. De manière plus générale, la méthode européenne de la reconnaissance impose aux autorités nationales d’intégrer la logique européenne dans leur raisonnement, lorsqu’elles sont saisies de la question de la reconnaissance d’un élément du statut personnel cristallisé à l’intervention d’une autorité publique d’un État membre. Ce faisant, elle devrait réduire la survenance de statuts personnels boiteux et contribuer ainsi à faciliter la circulation des citoyens européens. Cette recherche s’inscrit dès lors à la croisée du droit de la famille, du droit international privé, du droit européen et des droits fondamentaux. [less ▲]

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