Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Repeal) (Scotland) Bill


About the Bill

The Justice Committee has been designated as lead committee in consideration of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Repeal) (Scotland) Bill. This is a Bill for an Act of the Scottish Parliament to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012; and for connected purposes. This is a Member's Bill, which was introduced by James Kelly MSP on 21 June 2017. 

SPICe Briefings

Stage 1

The Committee began its Stage 1 scrutiny of this Bill by taking evidence from two panels on Tuesday 3 October:

Panel 1 consisted of witnesses from Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

Panel 2 consisted of witnesses from Fans Against Criminalisation, Supporters Direct Scotland and the Scottish Football Supporters' Association.

The Committee then took evidence on this Bill on Tuesday 24 October from BEMIS, Stonewall Scotland, SACRO and the Scottish Disabled Supporters' Association (the Scottish Women's Convention was due to take part, but was unable to attend at the last minute).

On Tuesday 7 November, the Committee took evidence from two panels.

Panel 1 consisted of representatives from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland, the Church of Scotland Church and Society Council, Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, Equality and Human Rights Commission and Scottish Women's Convention.

Panel 2 consisted of representatives from the Law Society of Scotland, Glasgow Bar Association, Scottish Football Association (SFA) and Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and Professor Fiona Leverick, Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, University of Glasgow.

On Tuesday 14 November, the Committee took evidence from Dr. Stuart Waiton, Senior Lecturer, Division of Sociology, School of Social and Health Sciences, University of Abertay Dundee; Andrew Tickell, Lecturer in Law, Glasgow Caledonian University; Dr Joseph Webster, Lecturer in Anthropology, Queen's University Belfast, and Dr John Kelly, Lecturer in Sport Policy, Management and International Development, University of Edinburgh.

The Committee will take evidence from the Scottish Government on Tuesday 5 December, and from James Kelly MSP, the member in charge of the Bill, on Tuesday 12 December.

The Stage 1 deadline for this Bill is Friday 26 January 2018.


The Committee issued a call for written evidence. The closing date for submissions was Friday 18 August 2017.



The Committee published its Stage 1 report to the Parliament on 18 January 2018



Consideration of the Bill at Stage 1 concluded with the debate in the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament on 25 January 2018

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