This law blatantly goes against Article 11 of Belgium’s Constitution, which protects ideological and philosophical minorities. The law was first put to use in 1999 when David Vercruysse was handed a six-month suspended sentence and an 3 fine for distributing copies of a British neo-Nazi booklet claiming the Holocaust was exaggerated (UPI). In 2014, they were ranked 23, the lowest they had ever been on the list. Their tendency to drop or stagnate in recent years was probably due to increasingly questionable treatment of journalists and a lack of protection regarding freedom of the press. “We must avoid Belgium becoming a refuge for revisionism.” The judge said minimized the atrocities committed by Nazi Germany and showed hostility toward democracy. Vercruysse claimed he was unaware that his actions were illegal, despite a line in the booklets he distributed blatantly saying “it is illegal to ask this particular question [about the extent of the crimes committed in the Holocaust].” Although the book originated in Britain, this line ought to have set off a warning in his head about whether the issues expressed were allowed to be brought up and disseminated in his own country. Belgium has shown in recent years that such freedoms are apparently not absolute. “Police Question Two Journalists in Latest Attack on Confidentiality of Sources – IFEX.” IFEX.
Belgium’s highest court is the Court of Cassation, followed by five regional courts which hear appeals from the various lower courts.
Since then, countries have met within Belgium’s borders for more peaceful purposes, such as the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization establishing their headquarters there.
Belgium declared independence from the Netherlands in 1830 and drafted their constitution in 1831.
Historical Background Belgium is located in northwestern Europe, bordering the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France and the Atlantic Ocean.
Their location, lack of natural resources and small internal market for finished goods have forced their economy to be based largely on trading (World Book, Inc. Their location has also meant that their territory becomes a battleground for other nations, as it did in both World Wars.