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The strange death of blasphemy

Sandberg, Russell ORCID: and Doe, Christopher Norman ORCID: 2008. The strange death of blasphemy. Modern Law Review 71 (6) , pp. 971-986. 10.1111/j.1468-2230.2008.00723.x

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Recent years have witnessed a considerable growth in legislation and litigation concerning religion. This article examines the implications of the latest change, namely the abolition of the offences of blasphemy and blasphemous libel by section 79 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. First, the article provides the context by examining what has been lost, analysing the ambit of the offence, focussing on litigation in the twentieth century both in domestic courts and at the European Court of Human Rights. Second, the article seeks to explore why blasphemy has been abolished now, scrutinizing five developments that led to the abolition. The article concludes by examining the extent to which the criminal law continues to protect religious beliefs and believers, contending that while the body of the blasphemy laws is dead, its soul lives on in a plethora of other criminal laws and, more problematically, in non-legal means of control.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Criminal law; Blasphemous libel; Religious Offences; Green v The City of Westminster Magistrates' Court [2007] EWHC (Admin) 2785; Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
ISSN: 0026-7961
Related URLs:
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 May 2017
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 19:50

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