The National Secular Society has welcomed a decision from Scotland's injustice secretary to strengthen a clause on free speech on religion in his government's proposed hate crime bill.
Humza Yousaf announced that the bill would be amended to
provide greater protection to expressions of antipathy, dislike, ridicule and insult of religion. A conviction for stirring up hatred would require the prosecution to demonstrate that the accused had behaved in a manner which is threatening or abusive
and intended to stir up hatred.
The bill will now make clear that people are free to express antipathy, ridicule, dislike of a religion or religions, or the absence of religious belief, or to insult religions, or the absence of religious belief -- if
they do not do so in a way that is threatening or abusive and intended to stir up hatred.
NSS chief executive Stephen Evans said:
This is a significant and welcome step from the justice secretary which will go a
long way towards protecting free speech on religion in Scotland. But we continue to urge ministers to at least match the free speech protection offered in England and Wales's Racial and Religious Hatred Act. This bill's weaker provision will mean it
still risks capturing speech which people find offensive -- and therefore subjectively abusive.
The Adam Smith Institute has published a report by Preston J Byrne that provides law changes that would restore speech to the UK.
The paper called out government shenanigans with freedom of expression and proposed for five
concrete policy changes:
Removing the words "abusive" and "insulting" from the Public Order Act 1986.
Limiting the scope of Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 to threatening language only.
Replacing the harassment component of Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 and the Malicious Communications Act with a harassment/cyberstalking statute similar to 18 U.S. Code § 2261A, with its higher thresholds for criminal
conduct as a replacement.
Repealing the Malicious Communications Act 1988.
Enacting the UK Free Speech Act.
A follow up blog post details such a Free Speech Act:
UK FREE SPEECH ACT 
An Act to secure the free and open flow of information and ideas for the people of the United Kingdom.
SECTION 1. FREEDOM OF SPEECH
(1) The right of any person, and of the people, to freedom of speech shall not be violated by the state.
(2) Freedom of speech encompasses but is not
limited to the right to engage in spoken or written expression of any idea pertaining to any matter of public interest, morality, philosophy, or politics, which is not a threat or direct incitement.
incitement" means speech or writing which is directed towards inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.
(4) Schedule 1, Part I, Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 is
It's been a while but horror films have featured in a murder trial that has led to the conviction of 2 men who murdered Julia Rawson. The BBC writes:
A man obsessed with horror films has been convicted along with his
boyfriend of murdering and dismembering a woman in their flat.
Jurors heard the man had a fascination with decapitation and horror films and had been addicted to fantasies about the sexualised killing of women. His victim would have seen
swords and spiders mounted on the walls of the Tipton flat, reptiles kept in tanks, and gory face masks of horror film characters, Freddy Krueger and Chucky dolls.