Legislation alone cannot change attitudes, but it can contribute. It can also raise awareness, and give victims of hate crime confidence that it will be taken seriously by authorities.
This is according to a May 2018 independent review (pdf) of hate crime legislation in Scotland, by Lord Bracadale, a senior member of the judiciary.
The report considers:
- Whether hate crime laws are needed
- What is working well under the current system and should be retained
- What should be changed and what the benefit would be
- What policy and procedural developments are underway or planned
Report author Lord Bracadale makes 22 recommendations on Scottish hate crime legislation, including the following:
- Statutory aggravations should continue to be the core method of prosecuting hate crimes in Scotland
- Update categories and outdated terms related to transgender identity, such as ‘transvestism’ and ‘transexualism’
- There should be a new statutory aggravation based on gender hostility
- There should be a new statutory aggravation based on age hostility
- All Scottish hate crime legislation should be consolidated.