Scottish Government to consult on creating hate crime of misogyny

Written by Jenni Davidson on 8 October 2018 in News

The proposal goes further than Lord Bracadale’s recommendation to create a new statutory aggravation relating to gender

Image credit: Scottish Government

 

The Scottish Government is to consult on whether to create a new hate crime of misogyny, Justice Minister Humza Yousaf announced at SNP conference.

It will include a question on the issue when it launches a consultation on hate crime later this year following the review of hate crime legislation by Lord Bracadale.

The Scottish Government has accepted Lord Bracadale's recommendation to consolidate all Scottish hate crime legislation into one new hate crime law and will use his report and recommendations as the basis for a new hate crime bill following the consultation.

"The consultation will be launched in November and will seek views on a number of options, including an aggravation based on gender hostility as proposed by Lord Bracadale.

“But we will also ask whether, separately, a specific offence targeting misogynistic behaviour could be an effective step in addressing this form of behaviour and the damage it does."

SNP conference has called on the UK government to give victims of domestic abuse the right to paid leave from work in order to secure safe accommodation. 

Commenting on the proposal, Scottish Conservative shadow justice secretary Liam Kerr said: "This is a surprising departure from Lord Bracadale's independent, expert review which acknowledged the issue but recommended using the existing framework of Scots law to prosecute offenders.

"He considered existing legislation to be sufficient, provided that aggravating factors are taken into account on sentencing.

"Age and gender would be added as aggravators, alongside race and religion.

"It will be extremely important to scrutinise any proposed change to existing legislation, to guard against creating confusion instead of protection."

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