Damned if they do, Damned if they don't: the European Court of Human Rights and the Protection of Religion from Attack

Res Publica 17 (1):55-73 (2011)
Abstract
The approach of the European Court of Human Rights to cases of religiously offensive expression is inconsistent and unsatisfactory. A critical analysis of the Court’s jurisprudence on blasphemy, religious insult and religious hatred identifies three problems with its approach in this field. These are: the embellishment and over-emphasis of freedom of religion, the use of the margin of appreciation and the devaluing of some forms of offensive speech. Nevertheless, it is possible to defend a more coherent approach to the limitation of freedom of expression under the European Convention of Human Rights, designed to protect religious liberty in a narrower category of cases
Keywords Blasphemy  Religious insult  Religious hatred  Freedom of expression  European Court of Human Rights
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