Hate Crime

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill sought to provide for the modernising, consolidating and extending of hate crime legislation in Scotland. Following publication in April 2020, the draft Bill attracted a range of critical responses, including the Law Society of Scotland and the Faculty of Advocates. In 2020 we launched a small crowdfunder to allow us to work on a detailed submission to the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee, which was tasked with overseeing the Bill.

The Scottish Parliament passed the Bill in April 2021, although it is not expected to take effect until 2024, principally due to technical Police Scotland recording issues. Our work on the Bill, including our submission to the Justice Committee, parliamentary briefings, blogs and media articles, can be found below.

Evidence submissions, briefings and blogs

Press articles

Chilling effect: how the hate crime bill threatens free speech
Article on the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill
Holyrood, 10 March 2021

Hate Crime Bill would affect freedom of speech in transgender debate – comment
Article on the Scottish Government’s draft Hate Crime bill
The Scotsman, 29 November 2020

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill: Views from Scottish policing
Article on the Scottish Government’s draft Hate Crime Bill
Policing Insight, 29 September 2020

Restrict new hate crime laws to situations where there is ‘intention’ to stir up hate
Article on the Scottish Government’s draft Hate Crime Bill
Press and Journal, 21 September 2020

Herald: Will Hate Crime Bill follow the path of its predecessor?
10 August 2020
This Herald Agenda article draws out the similarities between the current Hate Crime Bill and the 2005 Racial and Religious Hatred Bill, and considers the implications for freedom of expression.

Holyrood Magazine: The hate crime bill must be properly scrutinised 
20 May 2020
In this comment piece we argue that the Scottish Government should be careful not to dismiss concerns about the Bill as unsubstantiated, or to paint those voicing concerns as bad faith actors.