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Netherlands high court head proposes code of conduct for critical lawmakers

[JURIST] The president of the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden [official website, in Dutch], the highest court in the Netherlands, on Thursday called for a code of conduct for politicians limiting their public statements on court rulings, after comments he says have undermined the judiciary's role. Geert Corstens [HiiL profile] said in a television interview [Juridisch Dagblad report, in Dutch] that increasingly open criticism of judicial rulings by politicians undermines the courts' work and shows a lack of respect for the role of the court as an equal branch of the Dutch government. Dutch MP's have rejected [Expatica report] the proposal, saying that public discourse on public issues was not improper.

Last month, Dutch MPs were publicly critical of the court's decision not to automatically double the penalty for people convicted of violence towards police officers, reasoning that violence was part of police work [Dutch News report; Telegraaf report, in Dutch]. MPs also criticized [Dutch News report] the decision by the Amsterdam Appeals Court [official website] to move forward with the prosecution of Party for Freedom (PVV) [party website, in Dutch] MP Geert Wilders [personal website] for hate crimes related to his anti-immigration film Fitna and public comments about the "islamification" of Dutch society.

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