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Hate Crime Legislation Review

Date: 28th April 2017

The suite of laws covering hate crime offences in Scotland is to be reviewed to ensure it is fit for purpose in the 21st century.

The review will consider the various hate crime offences currently covered by a range of different legislative acts including the ‘Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012’.

The independent review will be chaired by the Right Honourable Lord Bracadale, one of the most senior members of the Scottish judiciary.

The remit for this review is:

To consider whether existing hate crime law represent the most effective approach for the justice system to deal with criminal conduct motivated by hatred, malice, ill-will or prejudice.

In particular, Lord Bracadale will consider and provide recommendations on:

  • Whether the current mix of statutory aggravations, common law powers and specific hate crime offences is the most appropriate criminal law approach to take
  • Whether the scope of existing laws should be adjusted, including whether the religious statutory aggravation should be adjusted to reflect further aspects of religiously motivated offending
  • Whether new categories of hate crime should be created for characteristics such as age and gender (which are not currently covered)
  • Whether existing legislation can be simplified, rationalised and harmonised in any way, such as through the introduction of a single consolidated hate crime act
  • How any identified gaps, anomalies and inconsistencies can be addressed in a new legislative framework, ensuring this interacts effectively with other legislation guaranteeing human rights and equality


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