The Framework of Criminal Law
Legislation on Bias-motivated Violence
|Bias-motivated Violent Crimes as Specific Offenses||Bias as an Express General Aggravating Factor||Bias as an Aggravating Factor in Specific Common Crimes|
Bias Types Covered by Provisions on Aggravating Circumstances
|Race/National Origin/Ethnicity||Religion||Sexual Orientation||Gender||Disability||Other|
Bias as an Express General Aggravating Factor
The criminal code of Belgium contains provisions that enable the racist or other bias motives to be taken into account as an aggravating circumstance in a wide range of specifically defined violent criminal acts.
The Antidiscrimination Act, enacted on February 25, 2003, provides that “hatred against, contempt for, or hostility to a person on the grounds of his so-called race, color, descent, national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, birth, fortune, age, beliefs or philosophy of life, current and future state of health, a disability or physical characteristic” are aggravating circumstances in respect of a certain number of offences.
These offences include: indecent assault and rape (Art. 7); manslaughter and intentional injury (Art. 8); non-assistance to a person in danger (Art. 9); violation of the personal liberty and of the inviolability of private property (Art. 10); ambush or lying in wait (Art. 11); libel (Art. 12); arson (Art. 13) and destruction of personal possessions or property (Art. 14).
These articles allow a judge to double the minimum of a correctional sentence and impose an increase of two years to a prison sentence in cases where the crime was motivated by bias.
 Anti-Discrimination Act of February 25, 2003, http://www.nhri.net/Ni/Files/70/BE%20Act%20of%20February%202003%20pertaining%20to%
 Anti-Discrimination Act of February 25, 2003.
 A correctional sentence is one ranging from 8 days up to five years in a correctional facility. “Opsluiting” or incarceration is a sentence between 5 and 30 years or a lifetime sentence.