Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Oppositional Religious Speech: Understanding Hate Preaching

  • Peter W Edge (a1)

Abstract

Hate preaching is capable of constituting both hate crime and hate speech, lies at the centre of many religions’ understanding of the manifestation of their religion, and frequently raises the contentious issue of regulation of the use of sacred scriptures. This brief article explores the regulation of hate preaching by criminal law, discussing the particular problems posed by oppositional religious speech, before concluding with suggestions for a number of ways to reduce these problems.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Oppositional Religious Speech: Understanding Hate Preaching
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Oppositional Religious Speech: Understanding Hate Preaching
      Available formats
      ×

      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Oppositional Religious Speech: Understanding Hate Preaching
      Available formats
      ×

Copyright

References

Hide All

1 An earlier draft of this article was made available to the defence team between the conviction and the appeal.

2 Cited by Christian Concern, ‘Street preachers who quoted Bible convicted in “modern-day heresy trial”’, 28 February, 2017, available at <http://christianconcern.com/our-concerns/freedom-of-speech/street-preachers-who-quoted-bible-convicted-in-modern-day-heresy-trial>, accessed 2 March 2018.

3 Overd and Stockwell, Bristol Crown Court (29 June 2017). The judgment of Picton J is not reported, and the transcript of the hearing is not in the public domain, but the appeal is discussed in the Bristol Post, 29 June 2017.

4 See further Iganski, P, Sweiry, A and Culpeper, J, ‘A question of faith? Prosecuting religiously aggravated offences in England and Wales’, (2016) Crim LR 334348.

5 It does not consider incitement to violence or criminal acts more generally, on which see Buyse, A, ‘Dangerous expressions: the ECHR, violence and free speech’, (2014) 63 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 491503.

6 R (on the application of Hodkin and another) v Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages [2013] UKSC 77 at para 57.

7 Eg Hare, I, ‘Crosses, crescents and sacred cows: criminalising incitement to religious hatred’, (2006) Public Law 521538 at 534.

8 Eg McGuire, K and Salter, M, ‘Legal responses to religious hate crime: identifying critical issues’, (2014) 25 Kings Law Journal 159184.

9 Law Commission, Hate Crime: should the current offences be extended?, report no 348 (London 2014), p 200.

10 Hare, ‘Crosses, crescents and sacred cows’, p 535.

11 Gozdecka, D, Rights, Religious Pluralism and the Recognition of Difference: off the scale of justice (Abingdon, 2016), p 94.

12 My argument here draws on Mill, and in particular concerns about infallibility, and is subject to the criticisms of Wragg, P, ‘Mill's dead dogma: the value of truth to free speech jurisprudence’, (2013) Public Law 363385.

13 Within many strands of Christianity, for instance, prophets are seen as important challengers to social values: see 2 Chronicles 24:19.

14 Hare, ‘Crosses, crescents and sacred cows’, 535.

15 Waldron, J, The Harm in Hate Speech (Cambridge, MA, 2012), p 3.

16 Otto-Preminger Institut v Austria App no 13470/87 (ECtHR, 20 September 1994) at para 47.

17 Cha'are Shalom ve Tsedek v France App no 27417/95 (ECtHR, 27 June 2000) at paras 13–16.

18 Qur'an 2:102.

19 1 Nephi 12:23.

20 Manusmrti XI, 53.

21 Leviticus 12:22.

22 Church of the New Faith v The Commissioner for Pay-Roll Tax (Victoria) (1983) 154 CLR 120 (High Court of Australia).

23 See further Edge, P, ‘Let's talk about a divorce: religious and legal wedding’ in Miles, J, Mody, P and Probert, R (eds), Marriage Rites and Rights (Oxford and Portland, OR, 2015), pp 255274.

24 Raphael, M, ‘Goddess religion, postmodern Jewish feminism and the complexity of alternative religious identities’, (1998) 1:2 Nova Religio 198–len .

25 Law Commission, Hate Crime, para 7.70.

26 Repeated by the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, s 153; Criminal Justice Act, s 145.

27 CDA 1998, s 31.

28 CDA 1998, s 32.

29 See Edge, P, ‘Extending hate crime to religion’, (2003) 8 Journal of Civil Liberties 527.

30 CDA 1998, s 82(1).

31 Law Commission, Hate Crime, consistently treats this as the most significant difference between the two routes, for instance at paras 4.114–4.130.

32 Alun Michael MP, HC Deb 8 April 1998, vol 310, col 451.

33 Iganski, Sweiry and Culpeper, ‘Question of faith’, p 334.

34 See Roulstone, A, Thomas, P and Balderston, S, ‘Between hate and vulnerability: unpacking the British Criminal Justice System's construction of disablist hate crime’, (2011) 26:3 Disability and Society 351.

35 Criminal Justice Act 2003, s 146.

36 Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, s 65.

37 See Heard, C, ‘Hate crime law: more incrementalism or time for reform?’ (2014) 7 Archbold Review 45.

38 For antecedents, see Leopold, P, ‘Incitement to hatred: the history of a controversial criminal offence’, 1977 Public Law 389405; Hare, ‘Crosses, crescents and sacred cows’.

39 POA 1986, s 18. Part 3 also contains prohibitions on publishing material, possessing material, performance of plays, distributing and showing recordings, and broadcasting.

40 POA 1986, s 29G.

41 Ibid, s 29H–I.

42 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, s 74.

43 POA 1986, s 29B.

44 Ibid, s 29C–G.

45 McGuire and Salter, ‘Legal responses’, p 163.

46 Kirk Session of Sandown Free Presbyterian Church [2011] NIQB 26, 22 March 2011.

47 Ibid, para 71.

48 Ibid, para 73.

49 Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, s 74, amending POA 1986, part 3A.

50 POA 1986, s 29JA, as amended.

51 Ibid, s 29G.

52 Ibid, s 29C–G.

53 Discussed in Mouvement raelien Suisse v Switzerland App no 16354/06 (ECtHR, 13 July 2012).

54 POA 1986, s 29B.

55 POA 1986, s 18.

56 Green [2004] EWHC 1255.

57 Howard [2008] EWHC 608.

58 CDA 1998, s 31.

59 Hare, ‘Crosses, crescents and sacred cows’, p 430.

60 Lautsi and Others v Italy App no 30814/06 (ECtHR, 3 November 2009).

61 HC Deb 19 November 2001, vol 375, col 69.

62 Otto-Preminger Institut v Austria, para 47.

63 White [2001] EWCA Crim 216, 1 WLR 1352, CA. Cf Pal [2000] Crim LR 756.

64 Abrams, D, Swift, H and Mahmood, L, Prejudice and Unlawful Behaviour: exploring levers for change, EHRC Research Report 101 (2016), p 78.

65 See, for instance, Walters, M, ‘Why the Rochdale Gang should have been sentenced as “hate crime” offenders’, (2013) Crim LR 131144 at 139.

66 Eg Mihocic [2012] EWCA Crim 195 (CA).

67 McConnell [2016] NIMag 1 at para 22.

68 POA 1986, s 29D(3)(b).

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed