The Swedish Supreme Court [official website] has ruled that remarks made by Swedish Pastor Ake Green [advocacy website] in reference to the morality of homosexual activity were not sufficient to rise to the level of "incitement to hatred" under Sweden's tough hate crime laws and overturned the minister's 2003 conviction. The Court held that Green's remarks were covered under Swedish rights to freedom of speech and religion. Green was the first religious minister to be prosecuted under the laws, which were amended in 2003 to add homosexuality to the list of protected population groups. View the official Swedish Supreme Court press release [in Swedish]. BBC News has more.
British MPs will get their first chance to debate a bill banning smoking [JURIST report] in public enclosed buildings Tuesday, as the Health Bill [text; BBC backgrounder] is sent back to the House of Commons [government website] for discussion. MPs are divided over the bill, as some feel that the exceptions included allowing smoking in "pubs and bars which do not serve food and private members' clubs" will lend to confusion about the issue and discriminate against some businesses. Other MPs feel that the bill is too limited and are pushing for a complete ban on smoking in public buildings throughout the entire UK. Tobacco lobbyists argue that the bill discriminates unfairly against people wishing to exercise their freedom to smoke, which they argue has little to no impact on others around them. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the United Kingdom [JURIST news archive]. BBC News has local coverage.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.