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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.  I want  to hear from those who have experienced hate crime and from those who apply the law as it currently stands.  This will allow me to make sure that any proposals which I make about changes to the law are meaningful to victims and workable for the legal system.

These pages provide information about what I will be considering and the process I intend to follow.

I hope that the web pages go some way towards answering any questions you may have at this early stage.  My team can be contacted at secretariat@hatecrimelegislationreview.scot

My team will publish updates about the process in due course.

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