top of page

HATE CRIME: How to Avoid Jail with These Six Simple Rules

Scotland's new HATE CRIME LAW has now come into force.

The Scottish parliament describes the law as:

'Hate crime is the phrase used to describe behaviour which is both criminal and based on prejudice. There are already laws in place to protect certain groups from hate crime. This Bill aims to do three things. It updates these existing laws and pulls most of these laws into one Bill. It also adds to the groups currently specifically protected by hate crime laws. 

Criminal courts can generally take into account any prejudice when sentencing a person. Also, people are protected from hate crime through specific laws that apply.  People are currently protected by specific laws on the basis of:


Race (and related characteristics)


Sexual orientation

Transgender identity

This Bill adds age to that list and allows sex to be added at a later date. The Bill creates a new crime of 'stirring up hatred against any of the protected groups covered by the Bill.'

The Bill also abolishes the offence of blasphemy which has not been prosecuted in Scotland for more than 175 years. You can find out more in the Explanatory Notes document that explains the Bill.

The Scottish government go on to say:

"The Bill has been created to make sure that the groups covered by the Bill are protected from hate crimes. It also makes sure that the laws that provide that protection are fit for the 21st century.

Crimes motivated by prejudice will be treated more seriously and will not be tolerated by society. The Bill has been created to make this clear to victims, those who commit hate crimes, and the wider society. You can find out more in the Policy Memorandum document that explains the Bill."

Humza Yousaf

First Minister Humza Yousaf was the justice secretary who shepherded the Hate Crime bill through the Scottish Parliament, declaring at the time that it "sent a strong and clear message to victims, perpetrators, communities and to wider society that offences motivated by prejudice will be treated seriously and will not be tolerated."

Those found guilty can face up to seven years in prison.

However, it is not all bad news, the bill still gives the public ample; people, groups and flags to hate. In fact, many of the groups left out of the bill are hated by its creators, such as White people,and the English, making there plenty still to choose from.

To avoid the mindfield we have created a handy little guide to help you navigate your way through social media debates, and of course, avoid a prison term as well.

120 views0 comments


bottom of page