The approach of the European Court of Human Rights to cases of religiously offensive expression is inconsistent and unsatisfactory.
A critical analysis of the Court’s jurisprudence on blasphemy, religious insult and religious hatred identifies three problems
with its approach in this field. These are: the embellishment and over-emphasis of freedom of religion, the use of the margin
of appreciation and the devaluing of some forms of offensive speech. Nevertheless, it is possible to defend a more coherent
approach to the limitation of freedom of expression under the European Convention of Human Rights, designed to protect religious
liberty in a narrower category of cases.
KeywordsBlasphemy–Religious insult–Religious hatred–Freedom of expression–European Court of Human Rights