R v University of Cambridge

By | 4th May 2017

R v University of Cambridge

R. v. UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE (DR. BENTLEY’S CASE) (1723) STRA 557

Vortescue, J.:
“The laws of God and man both give the party an opportunity to make his defence, if he has any. I remember to have heard it observed by a very learned man upon such an occasion that even God himself did not pass sentence upon Adam before he was called upon to make his defence. Adam (says God) where art thou? Hast thou not eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat? And the same question was put to Eve also.”

R v University of Cambridge

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT

SAMATTA, C.J. :

This is an appeal from a decision of the High Court (Chipeta, J., as he then was) affirming, while exercising revisional jurisdiction, a conviction for uttering words with the intent to wound religious feelings. The appellant, Hamisi Rajabu Dibagula, had been convicted of that offence by the District Court of Morogoro, which sentenced him to 18 months’ imprisonment. The learned Judge set aside that sentence and substituted therefor such sentence as was to result in the immediate release of the appellant from custody. The appeal raises one or two questions of considerable public importance concerning the limits, if any, of the right to freedom of religion, guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, 1977, hereinafter referred to as “the Constitution.”

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