I would be grateful for feedback on this essay-Emmanuel 09001274 The main media offences are obscenity,indecency,incitement to racial and religious hatred as well as blasphemy and blasphemous libel. The relevant legal issue in the in the case of Suarez and Terry relates to whether racist comment in football should be punished.s.17 POA 1986 defines racial hatred hatred against a
group of persons defined by reference to colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national origins. s. 18 POA states that it is an offence for a person to use language or behaviour which is abusive and likely to stir racial hatred intentionally having regard to the circumstances. The House of Lords in considering whether Sikhs were are racial group held that an ethnic group must share at least two of the following- a long shared history of which the group is conscious as distinguishing it from other groups, a cultural tradition of its own including family,social customs and manner,s , a common geographical origin and a common language.Accordingly ethnic Sikhs were a racial group defined by reference to ethnic origins. In the Suarez and Terry scenario racist comments would be deemed to have been published when they reached the hearing of Saurez which implies that the offence has been committed. S19POA 1986 makes any media which reports the racist incident without just cause liable for the same offence. With regard non broadcast material s18 s.19 and 21 POA 1986 makes it an offence to publish or distribute racially threatening or abusive material. The meaning of means hatred against a group of persons. defined by reference to colour, race, nationality (including citizenship) or ethnic or national originsethnicity has been in defined in Mandla v Dovell. S 29A of the Relgious Hatred Act 2006 defines “religious hatred” as hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to religious belief or lack of religious belief. While s 29B(1) RHA2006 criminalises words or behaviour that are intended to stir religious hatred.Football fans who sent a parcel bomb to Lennon and those responsible for making anti-Semitic remarks to fans of Tottenham would be liable for the offence under s29B RHA 2006.In R v Relf the defendant was convicted for inciting racial hatred by publishing leaflets containing derogatory references about the West Indian community which portrayed them as gangsters and muggers. While R v Edwards the defendant was convicted for intending to incite racial hatred against Jews and Asian people among children. The laws on racial and religious hatred are to a large extent context independent. Consequently,there is a justification for using the law to punish these offences among football fans and players. The core issue is to establish that prosecution of racist and religious offences in football is a proportionate response for the preservation of public order(Abdul v DPP) in accordance with art 10(2) ECHR which include the prevention of disorder or crime and the protection of the reputation of others. However, art 10 (1) of the ECHR states that everyone has a right to freedom of expression.In addition,Sedley J In Redmond-Bate v DPP said that “freedom only to speak inoffensively is not worth having.”He stated that free speech involves the irritating, the contentious,the unwelcome and the provocative provided it does not
provoke violence.Freedom of expression is the lifeblood of democaracy without which an effective rule of law is impossible. Any curtailment of article 10 ECHR must be proportionate to the end sought to be achieved.Freedom of expression is the rule and the regulation of speech is the exception requiring justification. The offence of religious hatred is however subject to a wider freedom of expression defence s.29J RHA 2006 seeks to balance the right to free expression with the need to prevent crime and disorder in a democratic society. Some have argued that concepts such as “abusive” and “insulting” are subjective and have been broadly interpreted by the courts.The Liberty,Justice and Joint committee on human rights have called for a comprehensive review of the law in this area. In general protected expression may include personal insults,together with views,ideas or information that offends ,shocks or disturbs the state or any section of the community. Journalistic freedom also covers possible recourse to a degree of exaggeration or even provocation. One criticism of the way the law deals with media offences is that determining what motivates a person to commit a crime is difficult.An offender may commit a crime against another based on a number of possible prejudices such as envy and jealousy.This may translate into language that might be used as evidence that the offender is racially motivated when the opposite is true. Another criticism of racially and religious motivated crime based on hostility to members of a group is that the terms do not reflect the reality of how racist and religious behaviour affects members of ethnic communities.Some moslems argue that Jews and Rastafarians enjoy legal protection in the criminal law because they are deemed to satisfy the criteria of what is an ethnic group.Moslems in contrast are excluded from the definition because of the way the House of Lords defined the term in Mandla. Meanwhile,there is a need for increased self-regulation by the media as a means of complementing the criminal law in this area.By virtue of s 19 POA 1986 and s 22 POA 1986 those in the publishing and broadcast media commit the offence of inciting racial hatred if they publish or broadcast material that is likely to stir up racial hatred.s 4 of the Offcom code states that broadcasters must exercise responsibility with respect to the content of religious programmes and that no religion must be subject to abusive treatment. In addition,the code of practice of the Press Complaints Commission states that there is a public interest in freedom of expression itself and that whenever the public interest is invoked by the press,the PCC will require editors to demonstrate that they reasonable believed the publication was indeed in thepublic interest. In conclusion,I am strongly support the view that there is a justification for using the criminal law to punish incitement racial and religious hatred.However,this must be complemented by greater self-regulation by the press. Religious animosity between Celtic and Rangers as well as anti-Semitic remarks would be discussed in the context of the Religious hatred Act 2006. Discussion of broadcast material.Broadcasters can be liable( s22 POA 1986) Cases Mandla v Dovell. Rv Relf(1979) R v Edwards(1983) Defences
Defence of fair and accurate reporting. Free speech (s10(1) ECHR Policy issues-Is criminalising racist behaviour a good thing?Are the policy objectives achieved. Criminilisation of hate speech is positive but is not an effective method of reducing racial prejudice. Discussion of context â€“ dependent crime,freedom of communication and reducing social harms. s. 4 of Code of Practice Press Complaints commission for editors and Offcom code regarding racism religious hatred and responsible journalism.