Geert Wilders’ “Incitement to Discriminate” Trial

Months before the parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, the leader of the far-right Freedom Party and election favorite Geert Wilders finds himself before a criminal court. He is charged with insulting and inciting discrimination against residents of Moroccan descent by promising his supporters “fewer Moroccans” in 2014. Wilders and his defence seem to invoke the theory of the ‘marketplace of ideas’, which is a common line of thinking in United States First Amendment law. The principal standard for Dutch courts however, the European Convention of Human Rights, takes a somewhat different stance.

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