Jeroen Temperman and András Koltay’s edited collection, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression: Comparative, Theoretical and Historical Reflections after the Charlie Hebdo Massacre, provides an in-depth and nuanced exploration of the laws regulating blasphemy and related concepts including religious insult, defamation of religions and religious hatred, from the perspective of freedom of expression. While the Charlie Hebdo massacre provides the inspiration behind this timely volume, its treatment of the subject matter extends significantly past this one event to a comprehensive and sophisticated analysis of the often neglected topic of blasphemy laws in the West. In the introduction, co-authored by Temperman and Koltay, the editors of the volume signal their intention to explore three key themes or issues: first, is the operation of blasphemy laws in the West, ‘exactly how “dormant” these laws are’ and why States are increasingly repealing these laws (pp 2–4). Second, they seek to explore the fragmentation within international law in relation to the acceptability of blasphemy laws from the perspective of freedom of expression, focusing, in particular, on the discrepancy between the approach of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on the one hand and other human rights mechanisms on the other, including the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee, Special Rapporteurs and the Rabat Plan of Action (pp 4–9). Finally, this volume seeks to unveil the variety of perspectives within ‘Western’ legal doctrine concerning the acceptability of blasphemy laws (pp 9–12). In so doing, the edited collection provides a comprehensive overview of both the current situation and contemporary debates surrounding blasphemy and freedom of expression in the West.
Powered by WPeMatico