How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ash Your Own Question

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

I am contributing a brief article to the Oxford Free Speech

Resolved Question:

I am contributing a brief article to the Oxford Free Speech Debate, run by Timothy Garton Ash.
I am curious to know whether anyone has ever proposed (as an alternative to hate speech cases, and without a separate law criminalising holocaust denial) that atrocity deniers should be liable to legal sanction for emotional abuse of survivors and their families.
By emotional abuse I mean the sort of harm which is included in child protection law and in the law on domestic violence, but it would apply to adults predictably affected by the denier's attitude to the reality of their experience. This is the gist of my own suggestion.
Thank you.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : Do you mean subject to criminal or civil sanctions please?

I'm not sure.

Alex Watts : Criminal no. There is no law against denial.

I believe criminal sanctions are part of the child protection and domestic violence law. I think I had this in mind as an alternative to the hate speech or holocaust denial statutes.

Alex Watts : There is clearly law regarding racial aspects such as remarks etc.
Alex Watts : as for civil matters. Someone would need to show that they suffered as a result of what you said and it had been negligent
Alex Watts : Indeed it would invoke your right to free speech
Alex Watts : people are free to say many things, within the law
Alex Watts : So nothing discriminatory such as race, colour, sex, religion and such forth
Alex Watts : But to deny that if happened is not an offenc e
Alex Watts : Civil they would have too many hurdles.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

I think I'm arguing for a specific restriction on free speech, because UK has no separate 'denial' law like some other European countries.

Alex Watts : Indeed. There is no law against you doing this in the UK. You are entitled to your opinion as long as you are not racist.

Perhaps a criminal liability could be justified, because of the harm involved, even if there is no discriminatory incitement involved in the atrocity denial.

Alex Watts : No I don't think so. It's not a specific criminal offence
Alex Watts : If it's inciting racial hatred. That's different. Please see
Alex Watts :
Alex Watts : But as long as you are not doing that, it's not an offenc e
Alex Watts : Does that clarify?

Thank you. I think there ought to be some sort of criminal offence for atrocity denial, analogous to emotionally abusing a spouse or a child but saying it's not because you don't love them.

Alex Watts : But there is not at the moment. Whether there should be is a matter for government and MPs
Alex Watts : I can only tell you the legal position
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther

Meet The Experts:

  • Jo C.

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
< Previous | Next >
  • Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.


    Satisfied Customers:

    Over 5 years in practice
  • Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • Buachaill's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Barrister 17 years experience
  • Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry


    Satisfied Customers:

    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • UK_Lawyer's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • Kasare's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • Joshua's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice