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Review of hate crime legislation 31/01/2017 The Scottish Government has announced a review of the suite of laws covering hate crime offences in Scotland.

Review of hate crime legislation

The Scottish Government has announced a review of the suite of laws covering hate crime offences in Scotland. The independent review, which will be chaired by the Right Honourable Lord Bracadale, will ensure that the law it is fit for purpose in the 21st century.

The review begins this month and will consider:

  • Whether current laws are appropriate and consistent
  • If hate crime legislation needs simplified, rationalised or harmonised
  • If new categories of hate crime for characteristics not currently legislated for, such as age and gender, need to be created.

In particular, the review will consider the various hate crime offences currently covered by the:

  • Criminal Law (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 1995
  • Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003
  • Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009
  • Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012

“I welcome this invitation to conduct a review of the Scottish criminal law dealing with conduct motivated by hatred, malice, ill-will or prejudice. Hate crime legislation has developed intermittently over many years and it is important to consider whether it currently provides appropriate, effective and consistent protection for Scottish communities,” said Lord Bracadale.

“I am keen for the review to be informed by evidence,” he added. “I intend to meet key community representatives and those involved in applying the law, as well as carrying out a public consultation, to ensure that the views of those with a direct interest will be heard and considered as part of the review.”

 

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