Submission: Call for Evidence, Hate Crime & Public Order Bill

We recently submitted a response to the Scottish Government’s Call for Evidence on the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill.

It has been highlighted by others, but the timing of the introduction of this Bill during a global pandemic which has occupied Committee business; combined with the volume and complexity of the Bill has made the scrutiny process challenging. Nevertheless, we very much welcome and encourage legislation that works towards a safer Scotland where hate and prejudice are not tolerated and communities feel safe and are strong and resilient. In November 2018, we submitted a response to the first consultation regarding amending Scotland’s hate crime legislation. You can find our response here.

In the main, we welcome this Bill as we agree there is a need to consolidate, modernise and extend hate crime legislation, especially with regard to ensuring there is a consistent approach across the protected characteristics, including any new protected characteristics. We would encourage the committee, however, to explore whether some of the measures included in this Bill might be over-reaching the original policy aim. We also suggest that this Bill is not the sole route to achieving the policy aim of a Scotland where hate and prejudice are not tolerated and other work to tackle inequality and prejudice will be required.

Read our full submission here.