Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Scotland

Closes 23 Nov 2017

Opened 31 Aug 2017


The consultation seeks views to inform the independent review of hate crime legislation in Scotland, conducted by Lord Bracadale. The review is considering whether changes need to be made to the current laws; whether existing offences should be extended to cover other groups; and whether all hate crimes should be brought into one area of legislation. This consultation does not advocate a preferred Scottish Government approach.   

Why We Are Consulting

Recent events both at home and abroad have highlighted the continuing incidence of hate crime. The violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-protesters at Charlottesville USA provoked global controversy. Closer to home, recent examples of racist, homophobic and sectarian behaviour have been in the news.

Offences to tackle racist behaviour were first introduced in 1965. Since then legislation in Scotland has developed in a piecemeal way, currently covering offences targeting criminal conduct in relation to race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity. The report of the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion, published in September 2016, noted the lack of clarity in the definition of hate crime and raised the question as to whether additional groups should be protected. Following the recommendations of the Advisory Group’s Report, Annabelle Ewing, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs, asked me to conduct a review of hate crime in Scotland.

I am sure that tackling hate crime is an important element in the drive towards creating a society in Scotland where people live together respecting one another, regardless of differences. My remit is wide and is designed to include whether the law should be clarified and harmonised, and whether additional protected groups should be included. In addition, it allows for consideration of aspects of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012. I intend to explore a wide range options and ideas. In order to do so I seek the assistance of all who have an interest, whether engaged in the criminal justice system, or as members of existing or potential protected groups, or as members of the public generally.

I would, therefore, be very grateful if you would take the opportunity to consider carefully the issues which are raised in this paper and give my review the benefit of your knowledge, expertise and experience.

Alastair P. Campbell
(Lord Bracadale)

We have produced three versions of the consultation paper:

Give Us Your Views


  • Scottish Older People's AssemblyAGM

    From 15 Sep 2017 at 13:00 to 15 Sep 2017 at 14:00

    The SOPA AGM takes place on Friday 15 September 2017, 13.00 - 14.00 at University of Strathclyde,
    Graham Hills Building,40 George Street, Glasgow G1 1QE

    The event will be held in the Conference Room (742)

    of the Centre for Lifelong Learning (7th Floor).

    At the start of the meeting Lord Bracadale will speak about the consultation he is undertaking as part of his independent review of hate crime legislation in Scotland.

    If you are interested in attending, contact Glenda Watt on 077 2991 3474 or

  • Cross-Party Group on Disability meeting

    From 19 Sep 2017 at 13:45 to 19 Sep 2017 at 14:15

    The Cross-Party Group on Disability are meeting on Tuesday 19 September 2017, 13.00 - 14.30 in the Committee Room 4, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.

    Lord Bracadale will speak about the consultation he is undertaking as part of his independent review of hate crime legislation in Scotland.

    If you are interested in attending, please contact Layla Theiner, Disability Agenda Scotland (DAB) at

  • FRAE Fife (Fairness, Race Awareness and Equality)

    From 27 Sep 2017 at 18:30 to 27 Sep 2017 at 19:30

    FRAE Fife is holding an event to support the consultation that Lord Bracadale's is undertaking as part of his independent review of hate crime legislation in Scotland.

    The event is being held between 18.30 and 19.30 on 27 September 2017 at Old Kirk, Kirk Wynd, Kirkcaldy KY1 1EH

    Please contact:

  • Hate Crime Mini Conference

    From 28 Sep 2017 at 08:45 to 28 Sep 2017 at 15:15

    The Right Honourable Lord Bracadale is undertaking a review of the laws covering hate crime offences in Scotland and as part of that process, Victim Support Scotland (VSS) are delighted to announce we are hosting a hate crime mini conference.

    There has been considerable debate recently on Hate Crime and its impact on society at a local, national, and international level.

    The conference will bring together key stakeholders from across the criminal justice sector in a bid to assist Lord Bracadale with his review and help devise laws which represent the most effective approach to dealing with hate crime.

    We have a range of delegates and an exciting range of speakers confirmed on what is set to be an exciting and successful meeting of minds.

    Victim Support Scotland would be delighted if you would JOIN US at our hate crime mini conference on Thursday the 28th of September on the third floor of our Training Suite at 10 Bothwell Street, Glasgow.

    Registration will be between 8.45am and 9.15am.

    To register an interest and for more details of the event – please contact policy

    We would advise you to contact us early as places may be restricted.

    More information can be found here:

  • The Scottish Association for the Study of Offending

    From 10 Oct 2017 at 17:30 to 10 Oct 2017 at 19:00

    The Scottish Association for the Study of Offending (SASO) aims to create a common meeting ground, nationally and locally, for all professional groups and individuals concerned with the issues raised by offending in Scotland. It provides an opportunity for an exchange of views by its members, enabling them to explain their own problems and to appreciate the problems of others engaged in related fields.

    We are pleased to announce that the next guest speaker will be the Rt. Hon. Lord Bracadale, QC who will speak on the review of hate crime legislation.

    The event will take place on Tuesday 10th October 2017 at City Chambers, committee room 1 and will commence at 6 p.m. Tea and coffee will be available from 5.30 p.m. The event is open to all interested parties for views to be shared. Booking early is recommended, as places are limited. Please contact us with any queries on 01382 223399 alternatively, email

    Please visit: to book.

  • Identity and Belonging Conference – Linlithgow

    From 17 Oct 2017 at 10:00 to 17 Oct 2017 at 16:00

    Interfaith Scotland are holding a national dialogue on ‘Identity and Belonging’ in partnership with Faith in Older People, Stonewall Scotland and Edinburgh University Chaplaincy. ‘Where does our sense of identify and belonging come from? How does religion, culture, sexual orientation, class and family influence our sense of being human and our attitudes to our society?’ The aim of the conference is to address these questions and to consider practical action that could be taken to engender a stronger sense of ourselves as members of different communities and as citizens. The conference costs £25 per person for members of Interfaith Scotland and £40 per person for non-members. Please register your place at

  • Article 12 – presentation and focus group for the gypsy/traveller community

    From 19 Oct 2017 at 11:00 to 19 Oct 2017 at 12:30

    Thursday 19 October; 11.00 to 12.30pm
    Salutation Hotel 30-34 South St, Perth PH2 8PH
    RSVP to Lynne Tammi (


  • People of Scotland


  • Communities and Third Sector
  • Equality, Welfare and Rights
  • Law and Order