|Back to the Scottish Parliament|| Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill Committee page
The Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill was introduced in the Scottish Parliament by Patrick Harvie MSP on 19 May 2008. The Bill will extend hate crime legislation, providing for new statutory aggravations which may be applied in cases where there is evidence that a crime has been motivated by malice and ill-will based on a victim’s actual or presumed sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability.
The Working Group on Hate Crime was set up by the previous Scottish Executive in 2003 and defined hate crime in its September 2004 report as “crime motivated by malice or ill-will towards a social group”. The Working Group recommended that the Scottish Executive (as it then was) should introduce as soon as possible a statutory aggravation for crimes motivated by malice or ill-will towards an individual based on their sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability. The Cabinet Secretary for Justice indicated on 15 January 2008 that the Scottish Ministers are in agreement with this recommendation and support legislation which will give effect to it.
The policy objective of the Bill is to create new statutory aggravations to protect victims of crime who are targeted as a result of hatred of their actual or presumed sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability. Similar statutory aggravations already exist to protect individuals and groups targeted on racial or religious grounds. No new criminal offences are created.
As lead committee at Stage 1, the Justice Committee is examining the main proposals contained within the Bill. The Equal Opportunities Committee, as secondary committee, considered whether similar provisions concerning age and gender should also be included in the Bill.
Equal Opportunities Committee - Stage 1 Scrutiny
Call for evidence
A joint call for evidence was issued on 11 September 2008. The Equal Opportunities Committee's call for evidence has now closed. Submissions received can be found below.
The Committee took oral evidence on the Bill at its meetings on 4 and 18 November 2008. Please follow the links below to the papers, official reports and minutes of the meetings.
The Committee published its report to the Justice Committee on 18 December 2008.