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 Lèse-majesté and related offences

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Posts : 3295
Join date : 2012-01-01
Location : Belgium

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PostSubject: Lèse-majesté and related offences   Lèse-majesté and related offences EmptySun 17 Apr 2016, 17:28

Sparked by the recent news that the German comic will be prosecuted for offence to a foreign head of state in casu here Erdogan from Turkey, I did some research about the nowadays lèse-majesté and its roots in history: but in the case of Germany it don't exist, but according to a law of 1871 offending a foreign head of state is a criminal act...

I was aware that in Thailand and in Morrocco there still exist the offence of lèse-majesté...
But now I saw on the news that it also still exist in The Netherlands...

And now I see that it seemingly still exists in Belgium too, and it is not described in the Wiki..

"Deux élus N-VA à la Chambre, Kristien Van Vaerenbergh en Theo Francken, ont introduit une proposition de loi afin d'abolir la loi du 6 avril 1847 sur le crime de lèse-majesté, a indiqué dimanche Mme Van Vaerenbergh à l'Agence Belga.   [...]   Kristien Van Vaerenbergh, qui préside la commission justice, s'étonne que cette loi existe encore alors qu'une loi similaire à propos de l'offense à des chefs d'Etat étrangers a été supprimée en 2005."
(to abolish the law of 6 april 1847 on the crime of lese-majeste....this law still exists while since 2005 the law on offence against a foreign head of state is abolished)

And Belgium was one of the leading liberal countries in the world in the 19th century and a broad press freedom...even such stuff could be published...
Lèse-majesté and related offences Leopold-ii-941835-17121909-king-of-belgium-17121865-17121909-caricature-B48GH9

But it seems that in the United Kingdom even more was possible...?

Kind regards, Paul.
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Meles meles
Meles meles

Posts : 3708
Join date : 2011-12-30
Location : Pyrénées-Orientales, France

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PostSubject: Re: Lèse-majesté and related offences   Lèse-majesté and related offences EmptySun 17 Apr 2016, 19:00

It's a similar state of affairs with blasphemy laws ... in England and Wales the common law offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel were only abolished in 2008 with the passing of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act.

Scotland has a different legal system and although the 1998 Human Rights Act applies in Scotland as well as England and Wales, the Scottish common law crime of blasphemy has not actually been abolished, although it's been so long since a successful prosecution that under Scottish law, blasphemy may no longer be a crime.

But blasphemy and blasphemous libel continue to be offences under the common law of Northern Ireland.

In the Republic of Ireland the offence of blashemous libel, which is applicable only to Christianity, is actually enshrined in the constitution, but then this has been ruled to be incompatable with the constitution's declaration of religious equality ... so the situatuion is even more complicated.
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