The offensive Behaviour At Football Act – have your say

Date: 4th September 2017

A letter to the SFSA’s members from Lord Bracadale.

31 August 2017

Dear Colleague

Consultation exercise – Independent Review of Hate Crime Legislation

I would like to invite you to participate in the consultation exercise I am currently undertaking as part of my independent review of hate crime legislation in Scotland. Your response will help ensure that the recommendations I make to Scottish Ministers in Spring 2018 are meaningful and fully informed.

The consultation paper that I have published today is the product of what I have learned from communities affected by hate crime and from those who apply the law. The questions I am asking explore the issues that I have been told matter most to people. As you will be aware, over the last few months l have undertaken a series of meetings with community representatives and have invited people to share their experience of hate crime via my online questionnaire.

Through my consultation exercise I am seeking views on the definition of hate crime, reflecting on how well the current legislation operates for the groups that are covered and asking whether amendments need to be made. I am also exploring whether there should be new categories of hate crime (for example, in relation to age, gender and refugees) and inviting views on how the law can deal with online hate crime. In addition, I have taken the opportunity to highlight issues that may need further consideration out with my review.

To make the content as accessible as possible I have produced three versions of the paper, all of which can be found at These are:
• a full version, which is aimed mainly at a technical, legal audience;
• a non-technical guide, which is aimed at the general reader with no specialist legal knowledge;
• an ‘easy read’ version using simple language and picture.
You can decide which version you would prefer to read and which questions you would like to answer. You may also be interested to read the key findings from the questionnaire responses which is published as an appendix to the full report.

I recognise that not everyone will want, or be able, to complete the consultation personally. Given your knowledge and experience of the people you work with, if you would like to gather responses by a different means and return it to my team, I would be happy to receive the information in that way.

To encourage wide participation and well informed responses I will be speaking at a range of events. A list of those which are open to the public will be published at The list will be updated as the consultation period progresses.

Please take this opportunity to help me produce a well-informed report by submitting your response by 23 November 2017. I would also be grateful if you can help to promote my consultation on social media by using #hatecrimelawscot.

If you have any questions on this matter my team can be contacted on

Thank you for your on-going support.


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