We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

Hate Crime Legislation Review

Lord BracadaleI have been appointed by the Scottish Ministers to undertake a review of hate crime legislation in Scotland.   The review will take me around twelve months during which time I will seek to recognise and understand the impact that hate crime has on individuals and communities.

The review’s consultation exercise closed on 23 November 2017.  I would like to express my thanks to all those who took the time to respond to the consultation.  Your responses will help to inform my report and recommendations which I expect to publish in Spring 2018 along with the analysis report of the consultation paper.

Where permission to do so has been given, my team has made responses available to the public on the citizen space consultation page.   Please note that in publishing this material I am not seeking to comment on or endorse particular views or issues.  My team has deliberately taken a wide view when determining whether material submitted to us should be made public.  In a small number of cases we have redacted sections of text, for instance if there is personal information or inappropriate language that was not necessary to understand the point being made in the response.  

Thank you for your on-going interest in my review. 

My team can be contacted at secretariat@hatecrimelegislationreview.scot

Lord Bracadale

Hate Crime Legislation Review

This independent review was announced on 26 January 2017 by Annabelle Ewing, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs.  The review is chaired by Lord Bracadale, a senior member of the 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