Incitement to Religious Hatred and the ‹Symbolic’: How Will the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 Work?
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This article examines the new offence of inciting religious hatred under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006. A historical analysis of existing provisions aimed at legislating against racial hatred and blasphemy is adopted, in order to determine whether the creation of this new offence is justified and necessary. We conclude that although the new offence may fulfil an important symbolic role in a post September 11th environment, in its current form the legislation has not taken sufficient account of the precedent of racial hatred and blasphemy laws, or of more general questions about the criminalisation of hatred.
Keywordsblasphemy criminalising hatred historical contextualisation incitements to hatred Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 symbolic role of law
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