Judge: Wilders' "fake court" statement not undermining to legal system
PVV leader Geert Wilders is not undermining the legal system with his statements about "the fake court" and "PVV hating judges", according to Frits Bakker, chairman of the Council of Judiciary. Wilders is just making use of the room the law gives him, and anyone else whose ever been convicted, Bakker said to the Volkskrant.
"In general our legal system gives a lot of space to Mr. Wilders and to everyone with their defense", Bakker said to the newspaper. "I don't think that's a problem." According to him, Wilders only made use of the rights he enjoys as a suspect. "It is not surprising that someone who is convicted lashes out - either in private or in public. Often convicts leave the court shouting and screaming. Because Wilders has a public function, his statements carry a different weight."
Bakker is also against implementing a "contempt of court" system, such as the one the United Kingdom has. In such a system a convict can, after sentencing, be given a fine insulting the court. "The Public Prosecutor submits something to us, and we think something about it. A ruling follows. That ruling can be explained, the suspect and the Prosecutor can appeal, but it should stay at that."
Bakker's view on Wilders' statements during and after the hate speech trial against him is much milder compared to some former judges.
Jan-Willem Nieuwenhuijsen, former judge in Den Bosch and Utrecht, told newspaper Trouw that Wilders raising doubts about the independence of the judiciary is "very dangerous". According to him, Wilders, "a politician who wants to become Prime Minister", is denying the separation of powers, the foundation fo Dutch law. "He understands the language of the street and talks it with gusto. The language of the gut feeling is of the absolute rightness of your own feelings It is a language that brooks no contradiction, and that is exactly where democracy ends: if there is no more room for contradiction", the former judge said.
Geert Corstens, former president of the Supreme Court, called Wilders' statements "rabble rousing" in newspaper Het Parool. "What he's saying is: if you do not do what I want, then you will be condemned by history. He lays such an enormous claim on the judges, he damages them. Very nasty." He added that by calling The Hague court a "fake court", Wilders damaged the integrity of the independent jury.