Commenting on the announcement today, Thursday, 26 January, that the Scottish Government is to set up an independent review of hate crime legislation in Scotland, Ian Cruickshank, convener of the Law Society of Scotland Criminal Law Committee, said: 

“Tackling hate crimes taking place in communities across Scotland is essential and it is important to ensure that there is clarity in our law to be able to identify these types of crimes. We welcome the Scottish Government‘s decision to launch an independent review to evaluate how well the existing law is working and where it might be improved.

“There is a significant amount of legislation which has been introduced over the years by both the Scottish and UK Parliaments with the aim of preventing and eradicating hate crime and prejudice. We think there would be potential benefits in bringing this together within a single piece of legislation which would provide clarity and assist with easy identification of offences and the protections afforded to victims of these types of crime.

“Lord Bracadale is a highly respected member of the judiciary. It is clear that the views of community representatives and those involved in applying the law will be important in informing the review alongside the public consultation.”

The Law Society’s briefing paper is available on the website.