Law and religion round-up – 28th October

A very busy week, so where to start? Maybe with…

… blasphemy in Ireland

In 1999, the common-law offence of blasphemy was ruled incompatible with the requirement in the Constitution of Ireland for religious equality and a new statutory offence protecting any religion against “publication or utterance of blasphemous matter” was introduced in 2006. On Friday, Ireland held a referendum on the proposal to delete the reference to blasphemy in the Constitution: exit polls commissioned by RTÉ and the Irish Times were both predicting a two-to-one vote in favour of its removal.

… and in Austria

We (and several other sites: see below) noted the judgment in ES v Austria [2018] ECHR 891, in which the ECtHR rejected the applicant’s complaint that her criminal conviction for “disparaging religious doctrines” – in effect, blasphemy – had violated her right to freedom of expression under Article 10 ECHR. Continue reading