Public to be consulted on laws to criminalise misogynistic conduct.
Plans for future legislation are part of the Scottish Government’s official response to the independent working group on misogyny.
A new Bill to tackle misogyny is being considered by Scottish Ministers as part of these proposals.
Chaired by Baroness Kennedy QC, the group’s report recommended a number of new offences to criminalise specific forms of misogynistic conduct – including stirring up hatred against women and public sexual harassment of women.
The Scottish Government has accepted the recommendations are pivotal in challenging misogyny and will develop draft legislative provisions for public consultation.
The timing of a final Bill will be considered as part of the Scottish Government’s future legislative programme.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans Keith Brown said:
“The independent report rightly recognises the need to address misogyny and makes a compelling case for creating new laws to tackle this unacceptable conduct.
“The Scottish Government response outlines how we intend to make progress on the blueprint for legislation contained within the report by bringing forward a Bill to the Scottish Parliament.
“With such a substantial and significant report it will take time to work through the recommendations in discussion with key partners, but we are confident the resulting legislation will help send a clear message that male attitudes which emanate from prejudice and misogyny have no place in a modern and equal Scotland.”
The independent working group report recommends the creation of new criminal law provisions in four areas:
- the creation of a new statutory aggravation to relate to misogynistic conduct where a crime such as assault, criminal damage/vandalism or threatening or abusive behaviour is aggravated by misogyny
- the creation of a new offence of Stirring Up Hatred Against Women
- the creation of a new offence of Public Sexual Harassment of Women
- the creation of a new offence of Issuing Threats of, or Invoking, Rape or Sexual Assault or Disfigurement of Women and Girls online and offline
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