Bishop Colton Contributes Chapter to New European Book on Religion in Criminal Law

ReligionCriminalLawThe Bishop of Cork, the Right Reverend Dr Paul Colton, has contributed an extensive article on religion in criminal law in Ireland to a new European wide study published by Peeters of Leuven, Belgium under the auspices of the European Consortium for Church and State Research.

The subject matter of the book – Religion in Criminal Law: Religion et Droit Pénal – was the focus of the meeting of the Consortium in 2008 in Järvenpää, Finland. The editors of the book are Professor Matti Kotiranta of the University of Eastern Finland, and Professor Norman Doe from Cardiff University Law School.

Dr Colton’s chapter on religion in Irish criminal law covers the broad range of headings and questions specifically posed by the Consortium to experts from  each European jurisdiction: a general study of religion in criminal law in each State; church members and crime; defamation, blasphemy and blasphemous libel; incitement to religious hatred; desecration of places of worship or sacred objects; disruption of religious meetings or funerals; offences against the peace in places of worship; abuse of a corpse and desecration of graves; freedom of religion, proselytising and apostasy; discrimination because of religion; misuse of religious garments or false representation of religious office; revelation of secrets obtained in the course of ministry (sacerdotal privilege); offences in relation to the formalities of marriage; and female genital mutilation.

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