Hate crime legislation in the Netherlands

Criminal Code of the Kingdom of Netherlands (1881, as amended 2007) (excerpts Hate Crimes Laws) (English)

(Unofficial translation, emphasis added)

Incitement to violence
Article 137d

(1)Anyone who publicly, orally or in writing or image, incites
hatred or discrimination against men or violence against person or property on the grounds of their race, religion or beliefs, their gender, their heterosexual or homosexual orientation or their physical, psychological or mental, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding one year or fine of the third category.

(2)If it is committed by a person who makes a profession or habit or by two or more persons shall be imprisonment not exceeding two years or a fine of the fourth category.

In the Netherlands, hate crimes are addressed as ‘criminal offences with a discriminatory aspect’. The framework for discrimination investigation and prosecution is set based on guidance from the Public Prosecution Service (Aanwijzing Discriminatie). This guidance document states that prosecutors should demand for a higher sentence (+100%) if the crime in the case is committed with a discriminatory aspect.

In January 2021 a draft bill was submitted to the Dutch Parliament, aiming to introduce a criminal provision of general application by which a discriminatory aspect is a circumstance that can raise the statutory maximum penalty by one- third. When a discriminatory aspect is proven, the maximum term of imprisonment imposed on the offence concerned may be increased by one third. In June 2012, the initiators sent the revised version of the bill to the Dutch Parliament, with the Council of state’s advice processed.