Working Group on Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland

Justice Secretary welcomes report and will now “consider recommendations”.

Justice Secretary Keith Brown has welcomed publication of Baroness Helena Kennedy QC’s report on Misogyny and Criminal Justice in Scotland.

Mr Brown thanked Baroness Kennedy for her exemplary efforts and said the recommendations will now be closely considered.

The Working Group was set up to independently consider how the Scottish criminal justice system deals with misogyny. 

This included examining whether there are gaps in the law that could be addressed by a specific criminal offence to tackle such behaviour. 

The group gathered oral and written evidence from a number of experts and stakeholders and from people with lived experience to determine what more we can do to deal with misogynistic conduct.

Mr Brown will now consider its recommendations of creating a Misogyny Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act containing a public misogynistic harassment offence; an offence of stirring up hatred against women and girls; an offence of issuing threats of, or invoking, rape or sexual assault or disfigurement of women and girls and a new statutory aggravation of misogyny.

Mr Brown said:

“I would like to thank Baroness Kennedy for the hard work she and her working group have undertaken in the development of this report. 

“This is an extremely important piece of work to help inform policy to address the many forms of violence, transgression and abuse experienced by women which may emanate from misogyny and is a milestone in making our society safe, equal and fair. It is clear to me that to achieve true equality we must continue to think about our messaging and how men's attitudes to women can be effectively challenged to make women feel safe when going about their everyday lives.

“We welcome the Working Group’s report on its findings and recommendations and will now carefully consider those before publishing our response in due course.

“We are absolutely clear that women and girls should not experience any form of harassment, abuse or violence which is why we set up this independent Working Group and it is fitting its findings were published on International Women’s Day.”


The Working Group Report was informed by Lived Experience Survey Analysis.

The Scottish Government has invested over £23 million in violence prevention since 2008. This includes a school based peer mentoring programme helping young people to speak up against gender-based violence and the negative societal attitudes which underpin it.


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