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Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression: Comparative, Theoretical and Historical Reflections After the Charlie Hebdo Massacre

Edited by: Jeroen Temperman, Andras Koltay

ISBN13: 9781108416917
Published: November 2017
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £148.00
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9781108403436

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The tension between blasphemy laws and the freedom of expression in modern times is a key area of debate within legal academia and beyond. With contributions by leading scholars, this volume compares blasphemy laws within a number of Western liberal democracies and debates the legitimacy of these laws in the twenty-first century.

Including comprehensive and up-to-date comparative country studies, this book considers the formulation of blasphemy bans, relevant jurisprudential interpretations, the effect on society, and the ensuing convictions and penalties where applicable. It provides a useful historical analysis by discussing the legal-political rationales behind the recent abolition of blasphemy laws in some Western states.

Contributors also consider the challenges to the tenability of blasphemy laws in a selection of well-balanced theoretical chapters. This book is essential reading for scholars working within the fields of human rights law, philosophy and sociology of religion, and comparative politics.

Human Rights and Civil Liberties
Foreword Eric Barendt
Introduction Andras Koltay and Jeroen Temperman

Part I. The Case of Charlie Hebdo:
1. Blasphemy in French law: from the Chevalier de la Barre to Charlie Hebdo Guilhem Gil
2. Blasphemy and defamation of religion following Charlie Hebdo Neville Cox

Part II. The Right to Blashpheme:
3. Blasphemy, the public sphere and democratic self-government Ian Cram
4. The right to blaspheme Mark Hill QC and Russell Sandberg

Part III. On Western Legal Discourse against Blasphemy Laws:
5. Blasphemy, freedom of expression and the protection of religious sensibilities in twenty-first-century Europe Peter Cumper
6. Rethinking blasphemy and anti-blasphemy laws Robert Kahn
7. Blasphemy, defamation of religion and religious hate speech: is there a difference that makes a difference? John Knechtle
8. The freedom and restriction of blasphemy: theoretical perspectives Andras Koltay

Part IV. European Court of Human Rights and Blasphemy:
9. At the deep end of the pool: religious offence, debate-speech and the margin of appreciation before the European Court of Human Rights Tom Lewis
10. 'Mother of God, drive Putin away': on blasphemy and activist art in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights Jeroen Temperman

Part V. Active Blasphemy/Religious Defamation Laws:
11. Religious insult and blasphemy in contemporary Finland Tuomas Aysto
12. The blasphemy offence in the Italian legal system Cristiana Cianitto
13. Legal protection of religion in Germany Matthias Cornils
14. God's advocates: the multiple fronts of the war on blasphemy in Greece Effie Fokas
15. Blasphemy law in Poland Joanna Kulesza and Jan Kulesza

Part VI. Dormant Blasphemy Laws:
16. The blasphemy ban in Denmark Lars Grassme Binderup and Eva Maria Lassen
17. A draft obituary for the offence of blasphemy in Ireland Tarlach McGonagle
18. Religion and hate speech in Canada: the difficulty in separating attacks on beliefs from attacks on believers Richard Moon
19. Blasphemy in Australia: the rags and remnants of persecution? Helen Pringle
20. Blasphemy prohibitions and prosecutions: a US perspective Russell Weaver

Part VII. Recently Abrogated Blasphemy Laws:
21. Giving up the ghost: on the decline and fall of Norwegian anti-blasphemy legislation Helge Arsheim
22. The theory and practice of blasphemy in the common law: slaying the seven-headed beast Ivan Hare
23. Freedom of expression, blasphemy and religious hatred: a view from the UK Erica Howard
24. The rise and fall of the offence of blasphemy in the Netherlands Esther Janssen

Part VIII. The Future of Blasphemy Laws?:
25. Freedom of expression and religions, the United Nations, and the '16/18 process' Marc Limon, Nazila Ghanea and Hilary Power
26. Blasphemy, religious rights and harassment: a workplace study Andrew Hambler
27. Towards an understanding of accelerants and decelerants: a non-juriscentric approach to offensive or hateful speech concerning religion Brett Scharffs.