'Suffering Offence: The Place, Function and Future of the Blasphemy Laws Revisited'

Journal of Civil Liberties, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 332-362, 1999

Posted: 22 Jun 2009

Date Written: 1999

Abstract

This research draws attention to the discriminatory reach of the English blasphemy laws. It traces developments in the law of blasphemy from the 1600s to the present; assesses the nature and scope of the blasphemy laws; revisits the question of whether the common law should be retained, abolished or extended to cover the religious feelings of non-Christians; pays attention to concerns to protect freedom of expression and freedom of religion; contends that the Human Rights Act 1998 is unlikely to assist those who consider the blasphemy laws unjust and untenable; and considers whether public order legislation might better protect all individuals from words or material intended to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Suggested Citation

Bryan, Ian, 'Suffering Offence: The Place, Function and Future of the Blasphemy Laws Revisited' (1999). Journal of Civil Liberties, Vol. 4, No. 3, pp. 332-362, 1999, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1423815

Ian Bryan (Contact Author)

Lancaster University ( email )

Lancaster LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

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