Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill


About the Bill

The Bill provides for the modernising, consolidating and extending of hate crime legislation in Scotland.

Read the Bill and accompanying documents

Current status of the Bill

This Scottish Government Bill was introduced by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf MSP, on 23 April 2020.

Stage 1

The Justice Committee was designated lead Committee for Stage 1 scrutiny of the Bill.

Stage 2

Stage 3

The Committee issued a short timescale call for views on the options proposed by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice for the inclusion of amendments at Stage 3 on freedom of expression into the Bill.

The deadline for submissions was 10:00am on Monday 22 February 2021.

Read the call for views here

The written submissions received can be accessed via the following links:

Written submissions of evidence from witnesses attending 22 February 2021 meeting (591KB pdf)

Written submissions of evidence - other (1.5MB pdf)

In total, the Committee received 681 emails as part of its call for views. In total, 276 submissions were published (see papers above). Following an initial review, 405 submissions were not published as these were either:

  • Duplicate submissions (where a person has sent the same email twice or asked for a previous submission to be replaced)
  • Submissions where a person has asked for their views to be noted but not published
  • Submissions of a very general nature and not about the amendments being considered (the call for views said these would not be accepted or published)

Submissions that were identical or very similar to other submissions and were part of a campaign (the call for views said these would not be published individually)



The Committee launched a call for views on Monday 4 May 2020. The closing date for receipt of written submissions was Friday 24 July 2020.

Read the call for views

Read the news release

Read the news release (Gaelic version)

Read the written submissions received


The Committee published research commissioned from Dr Hannah Bows of the University of Durham and SPICe academic fellow on “Is more law the answer? A review of proposed reforms to address victimisation of older adults.”

The Committee asked SPICe to commission a short piece of independent research by Professor Chalmers and Professor Leverick of the University of Glasgow to advise on approaches taken to hate crime laws in other jurisdictions. The jurisdictions covered by the report include England and Wales as well as comparators from outwith the UK including Canada and EU countries. The report also gives a summary of ECHR decisions in so far as they are relevant to the development of hate crime law in Scotland including the interaction between hate crime laws and freedom of expression.




Read the Committee's Stage 1 report on the Bill here (published 10 December 2020)

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