Publication - Consultation paper

Hate crime legislation independent review: consultation (non-technical guide)

Published: 31 Aug 2017
Justice Directorate
Part of:
Law and order

Abridged version of consultation to inform the independent review of hate crime legislation in Scotland, chaired by Lord Bracadale.

47 page PDF

226.1 kB

47 page PDF

226.1 kB

Hate crime legislation independent review: consultation (non-technical guide)
Annex A: Glossary

47 page PDF

226.1 kB

Annex A: Glossary

A strong feeling in favour of or against a group of people, often not based on fair judgment.

Breach of the peace
An offence which is committed where a person acts in a way which is extreme enough to cause alarm to ordinary people and threaten serious disturbance to the community.

The manner in which a person behaves, especially in a particular place or situation.

Common law
The system of law which is based on judges’ decisions, principles and custom rather than on written laws passed by Parliament.

The process of combining two or more pieces of legislation in one place.

Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service ( COPFS)
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service ( COPFS) is Scotland’s prosecution service. They receive reports about crimes from the police and other reporting agencies and then decide what action to take, including whether a case should proceed to court.

Evincing malice and ill will
To clearly demonstrate evil or hostile feelings or intentions towards someone.

Football banning order
Football Banning Orders ( FBOs) are a measure designed to stop potential troublemakers from engaging in football-related violence or disorder. A person who is subject to a football banning order is prohibited from attending football matches for a set period.

Behaviour which causes another person alarm or distress. Harassment usually involves behaviour which is repeated on more than one occasion.

A feeling of intense dislike or loathing towards a person or their lifestyle or beliefs.

Showing or feeling unfriendly behaviour; ill-will, spite, prejudice, antagonism, resentment or dislike.

The reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.

An action that breaks the criminal law.

The way that you think about something or the impression you have of it.

A person who carries out a harmful or illegal act.

An attitude held towards a person or group that is not justified by facts. Prejudice includes negative attitudes towards people solely on the basis of their race, disability or sexual orientation, for example.

Procurator Fiscal
The Procurator Fiscal is the prosecutor who decides whether a criminal case is brought or presents the arguments in court. See also COPFS.

To officially cancel a law or Act of Parliament.

Full-time salaried judges who sit in sheriff courts. They can hear criminal cases on their own or in conjunction with a jury, depending on the seriousness of the case.

Standalone offence
In this context, we mean an offence which has been created by Parliament to tackle specific hate crime activity. A person will only be found guilty of this kind of offence where the act in question involved hatred or prejudice.

This can be contrasted with statutory aggravations (see below) which are ‘added on’ to other, general offences such as assault or breach of the peace. For example, a person who assaults another will be guilty of the offence of assault. If that assault was motivated by, or showed, malice and ill-will based on racial prejudice, the conviction for the assault will be recorded as having been racially aggravated and the penalty may be more severe.

Statutory aggravation
In law an aggravating factor is any fact or circumstance that increases the severity of a criminal act and is used to increase the sentence imposed on an accused if they are found guilty of a crime. A statutory aggravation is a rule laid down by Parliament which requires a court to treat a particular fact or circumstance as an aggravating factor where a person has been convicted of another offence (for example, the fact that an assault was racially motivated).

Stirring up offences/provisions
These offences apply where a person does certain acts with the intention of encouraging others to hate individuals or a group of people because of who they are.

Certain elements of an offence which the prosecutor must prove to the court in order for a person to be found guilty.

A person suffered, harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.


Email: Independent review of hate crime legislation - secretariat,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road