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Introduction

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.

Background

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 would give effect to it.

The policy objective of the Bill was 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.

SPICe briefings relating to the Bill (as introduced)

Justice Committee - Stage 1 Scrutiny

Call for evidence

The Committee issued a call for written evidence. Submissions received can be found below.

 

Oral evidence

The Committee took evidence on the Bill at its meetings on 13, 20 and 27 January 2009. Please follow the links below to the papers, official reports and minutes of the meetings.

  • 13 January 2009

Agenda and papers (116 KB pdf)

Official Report

Minutes

  • 20 January 2009

Agenda and papers (368 KB pdf)

Official Report

Minutes

  • 27 January 2009

Agenda and papers (487 KB pdf)

Official Report

Minutes

Supplementary written evidence

Please follow the link below to supplementary submissions received.

Committee report

The Committee published its Stage 1 report on 5 March 2009. Please follow the links below to the report and accompanying news release.

Justice Committee - Stage 2 Consideration

The Committee completed Stage 2 consideration of the Bill at its meeting on 28 April 2009.

Stage 3

The Bill passed Stage 3 on 3 June 2009.

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Contact: For specific information on the Bill, please contact Andrew Proudfoot, Assistant Clerk to the Committee, on 0131 348 5047 or email justice.committee@scottish.parliament.uk