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Publication - Consultation Paper

Hate crime legislation independent review: consultation (easy-read)

Published: 31 Aug 2017
Part of:
Law and order

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

32 page PDF


32 page PDF


Hate crime legislation independent review: consultation (easy-read)
Stirring up hatred and online hate crime

32 page PDF


Stirring up hatred and online hate crime

person shouting at another person

There are stirring up offences which make it a crime to do things to stir up hate against a group of people because of who they are.

Stirring up offences are sometimes called "hate speech".

person threatening another person

They include things like writing or saying threatening things about a whole group of people (for example someone of a different race).

At the moment stirring up offences apply to race and religion.

sample bar chart indication low figures

There are not many prosecutions for stirring up offences in Scotland.

police officer and the law

The low number could mean that hate speech is not a problem or that the law has worked so that people know that hate speech is wrong.

group of people

It could be that the type of behaviour which stirs up hatred in society would already be covered by the existing statutory aggravations.

Scales with Right and Wrong on either side

If we criminalise the stirring up of hatred it could stifle debate and mean that people feel that they should not express their opinions.

For example, about religious practices or certain sexual behaviour.

Question 5

people debating question

Should there be offences that cover stirring up of hatred against groups other than for race and religion?

Yes / No

person thinking of answer to question

Please tell us why and what groups?


Email: Independent review of hate crime legislation - secretariat,

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road