Overwhelming majority of Committee’s recommendations accepted.
The Scottish Government has responded to the Justice Committee’s Stage 1 report on the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill.
The overwhelming majority of the Committee’s recommendations have been accepted by the Scottish Government ahead of the Stage 1 debate. These include:
- a strengthening of protection for freedom of expression provisions
- ensuring the test of the term ‘abusive’ in the Bill is an objective test
- bringing within the Bill’s hate crime framework the existing offence of racially aggravated harassment
- proposing new limits on Police powers of search and entry within the Bill
In addition, and reflecting on concerns raised from some faith groups, artists, authors and others, the Scottish Government will seek to remove entirely ‘Section 5’ from the Bill which deals with offences relating to possession of inflammatory materials.
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