the Irish for rights

Blasphemy provisions clash with Constitution

Cover of Levy's book on Blasphemy, via the publishers' website.In today’s Irish Times, a piece by yours truly under the above headline:

Blasphemy provisions clash with Constitution

The President has very few unconstrained powers, and the Council of State is convened only rarely, but this evening they will all move centre stage, when the Council convenes to advise the President whether to refer two controversial Bills to the Supreme Court. Whatever she does about the Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill, 2009, she should certainly refer the blasphemy provisions of the Defamation Bill, 2006 …

Read all about it here (it’s a development of my argument here).

The cases I mention in the piece are:

  • the case against Gay News magazine (wikipedia) is Whitehouse v Lemon [1979] AC 617 (HL) (wikipedia);
  • the case against Salman Rushdie for The Satanic Verses is R v Metropolitan Magistrate ex p Choudhury [1991] 1 QB 429;
  • the case against Jerry Springer – The Opera is R (on the application of Green) v The City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2007] EWHC 2785 (Admin) (05 December 2007);
  • the relevant decisions of the European Court of Human Rights include Wingrove v UK 17419/90 [1996] ECHR 60 (25 November 1996), and Klein v Slovakia 72208/01 [2006] ECHR 909 (31 October 2006); and
  • the case against the Sunday Independent for publishing the divorce referendum cartoon is Corway v Independent Newspapers [1999] 4 IR 485; [2000] 1 ILRM 426; [1999] IESC 5 (30 July 1999).
  • 2 Responses to “Blasphemy provisions clash with Constitution”

    1. […] O’Dell, TCD law lecturer and blogger, who comments regularly on defamation, argues that the Council of State, which convenes tonight to […]

    2. […] « Blasphemy provisions clash with Constitution Jul 22 2009 […]

    Leave a Reply



    Me in a hatHi there! Thanks for dropping by. I’m Eoin O’Dell, and this is my blog: Cearta.ie – the Irish for rights.

    “Cearta” really is the Irish word for rights, so the title provides a good sense of the scope of this blog.

    In general, I write here about private law, free speech, and cyber law; and, in particular, I write about Irish law and education policy.

    Academic links


    • RSS Feed
    • RSS Feed
    • Subscribe via Email
    • Twitter
    • LinkedIn

    Archives by month

    Categories by topic

    My recent tweets

    Blogroll (or, really, a non-blogroll)

    What I'd like for here is a simple widget that takes the list of feeds from my existing RSS reader and displays it here as a blogroll. Nothing fancy. I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

    I had built a blogroll here on my Google Reader RSS subscriptions. Google Reader produced a line of html for each RSS subscription category, each of which I pasted here. So I had a list of my subscriptions as my blogroll, organised by category, which updated whenever I edited Google Reader. Easy peasy. However, with the sad and unnecessary demise of that product, so also went this blogroll. Please take a moment to mourn Google Reader. If there's an RSS reader which provides a line of html for the list of subscriptions, or for each RSS subscription category as Google Reader did, I'd happily use that. So, as I've already begged, I'd love a recommendation, if you have one.

    Meanwhile, please bear with me until I find a new RSS+Blogroll solution




    Creative Commons License

    This blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. I am happy for you to reuse and adapt my content, provided that you attribute it to me, and do not use it commercially. Thanks. Eoin

    Credit where it’s due

    The image in the banner above is a detail from a photograph of the front of Trinity College Dublin night taken by Melanie May.

    Others whose technical advice and help have proven invaluable in keeping this show on the road include Dermot Frost, Karlin Lillington, Daithí Mac Síthigh, and Antoin Ó Lachtnáin.

    Thanks to Blacknight for hosting.