JS: TO court show is ON!

The blasphemy prosecution by the fringe fundamentalist group Stephen Green’s Voice (aka Christian Voice) against Mark Thompson (the BBC’s Director General) and producer John Thoday is back on.

A High Court judge has overturned the magisrate’s decision not to issue the prosecution, and a new date for the hearing will be announced in a couple of weeks. This will not be a permission hearing, but a full judicial review.

Mr Justice Underhill ruled that the district judge’s original ruling, which was based on two points of law, was wrong on one point and arguable on the other. The judge said:

I should in the circumstances of this case emphasise that I am saying no more than that the challenge to the District Judge’s decision was arguable. That does not necessarily mean that it will succeed; still less that any eventually prosecution would succeed.

Nevertheless, Stephen Green is understandably cock-a-hoop. No doubt this will get his name in the newspapers again for a short while:

Even with His Lordship’s caveat, I praise God that this is the most positive outcome we could have had. I shall look forward to the hearing with some confidence.

Although the hearing will no doubt cause considerable inconvenience to both defendants, it has to be said that this promises to be a highly entertaining trial.

UPDATE (27 Apr): Ekklesia has a good report, and make the point that this case could, contrary to Green’s designs, actually put the final nail in the coffin of the UK’s archaic blasphemy law.


6 Responses to “JS: TO court show is ON!”

  1. Steve says:

    I am glad to see in this enlightened time that we do not have laws allowing people to prosecute others who make pointed comments about their made up Gods…

    and back in our reality…I worry about the judicial system when judges are so irrational that they allow these out-dated and pathetic laws to still have weight and waste time and money.

  2. Monitor says:

    I know what you mean, Steve. I have mixed feelings about this trial. On the one hand, you are right – it is outrageous that such a thing could take place in this day and age. On the other, it is bound to be amusing. I do hope it will be our last chance to see such a pantomime in this country, however. It should be the last blasphemy trial in British history.

  3. Unity says:

    Actually, its not a trial, its merely a judicial review of the magistrate’s decision – so the most that Green can hope for is for the case to be remitted back to the magistrates court for the question of whether to issue a prosecution to be considered…

    Hopefully, should the case come back to the magistrates court, the presiding JP will be better informed as to the precise nature of our archaic blasphemy laws, making it a very short hearing in the following form.

    Mr Green, are you a member of the Church of England?

    No.

    Case dismissed.

  4. Stuart says:

    For the love of buggery, wasn’t it only last autumn that Green was singing chapter and verse about having freedom of speech even if it offends? Apparently offending Christians is another matter. Glad I updated his Wikipedia entry last year to show any journo who needs a quick reference what a hypocritical cretin he is.

    At least for all out lunacy this doesn’t beat his press release a few days back – using the Virginia massacre to get on his smug soapbox about abortions…

  5. [...] now, as MediaWatchWatch reports, he’s back after a high court judge overturned the original magistrate’s [...]

  6. [...] private prosecution for blasphemy against JS:TO is still pending. Monitor @ 7:09 [...]