Independent review of hate crime legislation in Scotland: summary

Summary document to accompany Lord Bracadale's final report.


Annabelle Ewing, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, on the appointment of Lord Bracadale to conduct the Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland, said:

“Racism, intolerance and prejudice of all kinds are a constant threat to society, and while Scotland is an open and inclusive nation, we are not immune from that threat…this review will help ensure we have the right legislative protection in place to tackle hate crime wherever and whenever it happens.”

Lord Bracadale, who has conducted the Independent Review of Hate Crime legislation in Scotland has indicated:

“ I want to ensure that any proposals I advance are meaningful to victims and workable for the legal system.“

Photo of Lord Bracadale, Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland

Lord Bracadale,
Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland

Lord Bracadale was asked by the Scottish Ministers to consider:

  • the current law and consider how well it deals with hate crime behaviour
  • whether new statutory aggravations should be created for example in relation to age and gender
  • whether the religious statutory aggravation is fit for purpose or should be expanded
  • whether we should make hate crime laws simpler by bringing them all together in one place
  • any issues or gaps in the framework for hate crime laws and to make sure that hate crime laws are compatible with laws that protect human rights and equality

Lord Bracadale began work at the end of January 2017.

Following a period of fact finding and research he produced his consultation paper and undertook a series of events to hear from a wide range of people and learn from their experiences of hate crime and the impact that this has had on them and their communities.

Lord Bracadale spent time looking at:

  • Whether hate crime laws are needed
  • What is working well under the current system and should be retained
  • What should be changed and what the benefit would be
  • What policy and procedural developments are underway or planned


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