ant fucker – mierenneuker

18 May 2012 Posted by Wibo van Rossum

The Supreme Court of the Netherlands on 8 May 2012 gave verdict on a case in which a homeless man called a police man a ‘mierenneuker’ – an ‘ant fucker’. The homeless man was prosecuted and convicted for insulting a police officer by the court of first instance and on appeal. The Supreme Court found differently. The police officer had taken away a beer can from the homeless man and thrown it in the trash can. Calling that police man an ant fucker is not always an insult, the Supreme Court found. An ant fucker in common sense usage in the Netherlands is someone who is very strict, actually too strict on rules – focused too much on the small things in life and on the millimeters, and not on things that really matter.
According to the Supreme Court, the context of the utterance – was it heard by other people, was there an intention to insult – is decisive for the assessment of there being a criminal act. Because calling someone an ant fucker is generally not enough for a criminal insult …

About Wibo van Rossum

assistent professor at legal theory Utrecht University School of Law

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