In New Zealand it is illegal under the Crimes Act 1961 (Section 123) to publish any blasphemous libel. The maximum punishment is one year imprisonment. No one can be prosecuted without the consent of the Attorney General.
In Canada, Blasphemous Libel is an indictable offence under section 296(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada. It is punishable by up to 2 years in prison.
It is a defence in both Canada and New Zealand that the accused was expressing an opinion on a religious subject provided that it is expressed in good faith and in decent language: "It is not an offence against this section to express in good faith and in decent language, or to attempt to establish by arguments used in good faith and conveyed in decent language, any opinion whatever on any religious subject."
JUSTICE Minister Dermot Ahern has defended the introduction of a new crime of blasphemous libel, stating that a new definition was required by the Constitution.
Apr 30, 2009; Ahern on the defence over new blasphemy libel laws JUSTICE Minister Dermot Ahern has defended the introduction of a new crime of...