Theo Rosier is a lecturer in Philosophy of Law and Legal Theory at the University of Utrecht. His doctoral thesis concerned a comparative study in freedom of speech and discrimination in the United States and the Netherlands. He is author of the intriguing article 'Tolerance and Religion. About the Van Dijke Case and the ECtHR's View Regarding Blasphemy' and quite recently, he made an appearance on Dutch television in the current affairs programme Nieuwsuur to comment on the Wilders case.
On 21 January 2009, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal had ordered the Public Prosecution Service (OM) to subpoena Dutch politician Geert Wilders for, inter alia, spreading hatred and offending a group because of their religious convictions contrary to articles 137d and 137c of the Dutch Criminal Code. On Monday 24 May, the Amsterdam Court of First Instance rejected all preliminary objections formulated by Wilder's attorney Bram Moszkowicz. High time to scrutinise the precise merits of this prosecution and to re-examine an age old controversy: the perceived clash between the right to freedom of speech and (the right to freedom of) religion.