“Hate crimes” in Polish law committed because of the religious background Cover Image

„Przestępstwa z nienawiści” na tle wyznaniowym w prawie polskim
“Hate crimes” in Polish law committed because of the religious background

Author(s): Małgorzata Tomkiewicz
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Warmińsko-Mazurskiego w Olsztynie
Keywords: discrimination; hatred; religious beliefs; hate speech; religious differences.

Summary/Abstract: The freedom of conscience and faith is one of the most basic rules in contemporary and democratic societies, and is adopted in domestic and international law. It comprises the freedom of religious beliefs, the acceptance and rejection of any religion according to personal choice, as well as expressing, individually or together with others, publicly or privately celebrated religion and beliefs. This manifestation may be expressed in acts of worship, prayer, religious observances or in teaching.The adjustments in criminal law which prohibit religious discrimination are the guarantee of this freedom, which is expressively stipulated in the Polish Penal Code. According to arts. 188, 119 and 194, there is a ban on any discrimination because of denominational affiliation. Moreover, the legislator penalizes, in arts. 256 and 257, incitement to hatred in public due to religious beliefs or atheism, and insults to a group of people or individuals in public because of religious discrimination.The issue of “hate speech” and crimes committed because of discrimination, including religious discrimination, (hate crime; biased-motivated crime) is becoming a more frequent phenomenon, both in the world generally and in Poland. The awareness of the growth of this phenomenon is not visible, however, in the number of connected criminal procedures which are conducted in Poland. Such a situation leads to the question of the reason for such small effectiveness in this matter. This article tries to answer this question.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 16
  • Page Range: 45-59
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Polish