[JURIST] The Supreme Court of The Netherlands [official website, in Dutch] on Friday banned [ruling, in Dutch] an online group, “Martijn,” that advocates for the legalization of pedophilia. The court held that the dangers of pedophilia are too great to allow the group to continue. This is because, the court reasoned, children are particularly vulnerable, and the protections they require justifies using the extraordinary relief of disbanding Martijn. In addition, the court agreed with the prosecutor’s arguments that victims of pedophilia should not be forced to be exposed to the group’s message. The ruling overturned a lower court decision that said only groups that threaten to cause social disruption are eligible to be banned.
The case originated in 2011 when the public prosecutor brought the lawsuit. The controversy highlights the difficulties of addressing the issue of pedophilia internationally. In July 2012 Amnesty International Moldova (AI) [advocacy website, in Romanian] questioned [JURIST report] the constitutionality of a law that allows chemical castration of anyone found guilty of “violent pedophilia.” In 2007 a French court acquitted [JURIST report] an individual in a landmark pedophilia prostitution case. The Netherlands also allowed [JURIST report] the pedophilia party to register for the national elections in 2006.