Religious Offences Committee

Select Committee on Religious Offences

On 15 May 2002 the House of Lords appointed a Select Committee €œto consider and report on the law relating to religious offences€.

This followed consideration of a proposal that Lord Avebury€™s Religious Offences Bill [HL], which received a Second Reading on 30 January, should be committed to a select committee. This bill would create an offence of religious hatred, as proposed in a provision in the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Bill that was deleted during its passage through the House. It would also abolish blasphemy and certain other religious offences. It was felt that while these were both matters which could benefit from examination by a select committee, one set up to examine Lord Avebury's Bill might be unduly constrained.

The Committee has completed its deliberations. Its report was published 10 June. It is in three parts: Volume I contains the report itself; Volume II contains oral evidence and witnesses' written submissions; and Volume III contains other written evidence. The Government response to the report was published in December 2003.

Enquiries should be addressed to the Committee Clerk on tel: 020 7219 5208.