‘Insulting the queen is no crime’

The crime of lèse majesté, or insulting the monarch, should be removed from the statute books, Labour senator Peter Rehwinkel says in today’s Volkskrant.

The law, which dates from 1881 is unfair because it means it is worse to insult the queen than an ordinary person, Rehwinkel says.
Judges can impose a maximum jail term of five years for lèse majesté but only two years for slander.
In addition, the monarch’s role as head of the government means that lèse majesté is in conflict with European law, Rehwinkel says.
Last week, an Amsterdam magistrate fined a man €400 for calling queen Beatrix a whore and making sexual comments.

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