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.

Please take the time to respond to my consultation exercise which is running until 23 November 2017.  The questions I am asking explore the issues that I have been told matter most to people.  To make the content as accessible as possible there are three versions of the paper.  I have also published the academic research on hate crime legislation that  I commissioned and the findings report from the questionnaire that I produced in April: you'll find these below the consultation papers under the heading “Related”.  You can decide which version you would prefer to read and which questions you would like to answer. Your response will help ensure that the recommendations I make to Scottish Ministers in Spring 2018 are meaningful and fully informed .

My team can be contacted at secretariat@hatecrimelegislationreview.scot                  

My team will publish updates as the review progresses. 

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