The limits of precedent and the special case of racial hatred

In response to a recent parliamentary question by Labour MSP James Kelly on the proposed stirring up hatred offences in the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, and whether these should be fully deleted or heavily amended, the First…

Should ‘Variations in Sex Characteristics’ be included in the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill?

The Hate Crime and Public Order Bill provides for ‘Variations in Sex Characteristics’ (VSCs) as a standalone protected characteristic. This represents a change from the Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009, which currently classifies ‘intersexuality’ under ‘transgender identity’. The…

Defining transgender identity in the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill and beyond

This blog looks at how the characteristic ‘transgender identity’ is defined in the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill, and in public policy more widely. We argue that a failure to clarify what is meant by this term is likely…

Domino effects: the implications of the framing the sex question in the 2021 census

The UK is losing robust data on sex and the framing of the sex question in the 2021 census is set to make the situation worse.   The sex question in the 2021 census will ask whether a person is…

Scottish Government response to our questions on reforming the Gender Recognition Act

On 6 January 2020 we wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People Shirley-Anne Somerville, with a set of questions about the Scottish Government consultation on gender recognition reform and draft Bill (our original letter is shown…