Law and religion round-up – 14th February

Hate speech

There have been various media reports that the Law Commission of England & Wales has decided that offensive comments made in private will not be classed as hate crimes under its proposals to reform the law. The Law Commission had originally proposed that the crime of stirring up division over race, religion or sexual orientation should extend to private dwellings. Under the current exemption, stirring up hatred is exempt if it takes place in a home and cannot be seen or heard outside that or another dwelling.

According to the reports, Lord Justice Green, the Commission’s Chairman, has acknowledged critics’ concerns that the original plan to ditch the hate crime exemption for private dwellings could lead to people being prosecuted for comments made in the home “for the mere giving of offence”. Continue reading