Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stacking the cards against Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders, the leader of the Freedom Party (PVV), is being prosecuted in The Netherlands by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal for hate speech, as has been reported on this blog. There is disturbing news from the legal front for Wilders.

In Belgium a politician, Daniel Feret, was convicted for stating in leaflets that Islam seeks the Islamization of Belgium. Mr. Ferret appealed the decision at the European Court, a Court with seven judgees.

The European court has now upheld the decision of the Belgian court (Dutch), with three judges dissenting. Amongst other things Mr. Ferret will be stripped of his passive democratic rights for the duration of ten years. This means he is not electable for ten years.

If something like this would happen to the leader of the PVV, it would have dire consequnces for the prospects of the party.

The law is becoming increasingly politicized in Europe. The question is whether the rise of rightwing parties in Europe is influencing the European judges. Is the political echelon exerting pressure on judges to eliminate rightwing competion, or are they acting on their own accord? At this level of judging politics and law mesh. It is impossible that political considerations are not a part of the deliberations of the European and national Dutch and Belgian judges.

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