Scottish Hate Crime law

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Dust
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by Dust »

pelmut wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 10:44 am
rivegauche wrote:
Thu Sep 24, 2020 8:55 am
... I suspect that this is an attempt to protect minorities that they haven't got quite right.
That seems to be the case.  

Until a couple of decades ago the perpretators of violence could use the excuse "He was asking for it because he was a crossdresser/transgender/poofter/black/etc." and very often received a degree of understanding and sympathy from the police and even the judge.  Gradually that list has been whittled down: nowadays there is little understanding or sympathy (at least in the U.K.) for anyone who thinks it is right to verbally or physically attack someone because of their race or skin colour - but it has taken a special strengthening of the law and the creation of the 'racially aggravated' category with more severe penalties to finally get that point across.  That should not have been necessary and was not good law because it created division rather than removing it.  A good law should apply equally to everyone but it was clear that the existing good laws were being enforced selectively, so a bad law was passed to redress the balance.

That principle was then extended to include homosexuality; better education followed when the laws preventing children being properly educated on the subject were removed and nowadays most younger people are quite comfortable with the idea of same-sex couples.  Now transgender people have been included and it looks as though people with different clothing preferences should be covered too; so the overall results are good, even though the means of achieving them is still not right.

With better education and waning influence from ignorant 'religious' hate groups, we might eventually get to a situation where the 'hate crime' laws are unnecessary because the characteristics they cover are considered to be just a normal part of life's rich tapestry.
We are long past the time for removing ALL hate crime laws. As you said, they are bad laws that create division rather than removing it.

I am willing to be the first to say that clothing preferences, including my own, should NOT be protected by such laws.

If hate crime laws were ever necessary, and I'm not sure they were, they outlasted any positive effects decades ago for race relations. Adding more categories was never a good idea.

Not getting it "quite right" is an understatement. I would say that, in the US at least, "hate crime" laws are not just bad laws, but unconstitutional.

"The Constitution was made to gaurd the people against the dangers of good intentions." - Daniel Webster
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by rode_kater »

Dust wrote:
Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:24 am
We are long past the time for removing ALL hate crime laws. As you said, they are bad laws that create division rather than removing it.
Reading this thread I agree with you. Here we have constitutionally protected "personal space" which includes "freedom of expression" which covers clothing as well as many other things. This basically covers everything most hate crime laws try to cover I think. And it does so in a positive and inclusive way.

Unfortunately, it doesn't remove the need for specific laws: constitutions are nice principles but don't state what the punishment should be for violations. It's a social right, in that it's not protecting you from the government, but rather obligating the government to protect you from others. People being what they are, just stating that something is wrong doesn't stop it from happening. However, there's not much need to distinguish between kinds of discrimination.

Has anyone in the US tried to carry the argument that clothing is a form of speech and thus protected? Seems an obvious win from over here.
Faldaguy
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by Faldaguy »

I posted this link in the thread on trans effects on MIS but probably it should have been here.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... ring-skirt
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greenboots
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by greenboots »

I have some knowledge of this subject as I wrote a response for our church to the original public consultation. The proposal for this Bill came from a review by Lord Bracadale of the existing legislation on hate crime, which was scattered through various different areas of law, as the need had arisen.

In Scottish law, there is no such thing as a "hate crime" (at least as perceived by the general public). Hating someone is not (currently) a crime; rather, if you have committed a crime, hatred of that person for having a defined characterstic (for example, a particular race, religion or sexual orientation) becomes an "aggravation" and will lead to a stiffer penalty. I think the words used in the legislation require proof of "malice" and intent.

Lord Bracadale's recommendation was that all the random pieces of legislation should be brought together in one Act, possibly adding a couple of categories from the equality legislation. He also suggested changing the language to use more common words, but with changing the actual meaning of the legislation. Based on this, we were broadly supportive if the proposal, with some words of caution.

I was therefore very surprised to read opposition to the Bill from many quarters, not just the usual suspects (particularly conservative Christian organisations). Police Scotland and the Law Society of Scotland don't usually decry the government so forcefully in the media. It seems that the issue is the introduction of the concept of "insult", which is a very subjective term. Hence, the concern is that the burden of proof moves from the prosecution to the defence. Given that most laws suffer from a degree of creeping through case law, there is a very real danger of curtailing freedom of speech.

The good news is that the Justice Minister Humza Yousef has indicated that he has heard the concerns, and that when the Bill returns to Parliament following its first committee stage, he will modify it to mitigate the risk. We shall have to wait and see!
Dust
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by Dust »

Greenboots, thanks for the info. Please post more updates here as things progress.

As to hate being a crime, the hate crime laws in many places I believe are more like what you describe, that added penalties can be applied to the punishment for something already illegal. I believe that's the case with most such laws in the US, because of the First Amendment protection of free speech. In the US, you can legally say nearly anything, aside from yelling "fire" in a theater, and directly issuing threats or inciting violence.

Some places, though, do have laws that allow someone to be arrested for expressing dislike of a certain group, or saying things they find offensive. I think such laws are in force in England, among other places. I've heard of street preachers being arrested (I thought it was somewhere in the UK, but I could be wrong, and similar arrests in Canada) for quoting biblical prohibitions on homosexual behavior, for instance. If someone can clarify what the laws are there, I'd be interested to hear about that as well.
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by pelmut »

Dust wrote:
Sun Oct 04, 2020 4:54 am
... I've heard of street preachers being arrested (I thought it was somewhere in the UK, but I could be wrong, and similar arrests in Canada) for quoting biblical prohibitions on homosexual behavior, for instance. If someone can clarify what the laws are there, I'd be interested to hear about that as well.
I'm no expert on the law, but the usual British reaction would be to ignore him or shout something back and walk away.  If things did start to become heated and the police were called, they would initially try to calm things down or they may take him into temporary custody for his own safety.  If the situation had already escalated, they might charge him or his antagonists with behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace, but that would be a heavy-handed reaction that they would try to avoid.

The hate crime laws would probably be reserved for circumstances where actual harm had occurred or where someone was inciting others to do harm with a reasonable likelihood that they would actually do it.
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by Pdxfashionpioneer »

We are long past the time for removing ALL hate crime laws. As you said, they are bad laws that create division rather than removing it.
I'm gobsmacked! Does the place name Charlottesville ring a bell?

How hate crime laws, that work in the US just like the description Greenboots gave of UK law, create division is beyond me?
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by pelmut »

Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:24 pm
How hate crime laws, that work in the US just like the description Greenboots gave of UK law, create division is beyond me?
They single-out specially protected attributes such as race, colour, sexuality and gender, rather than saying the existing laws apply to everyone.  If the existing laws were applied correctly, there would be no need to divide people into those who have these attributes and those who don't.  

Special laws like that create resentment towards the 'privileged' people who are perceived as having extra protection which ordinary people don't have.  In reality they don't have any extra protection but were previously under-protected before the extra laws were passed.  Like all forms of so-called 'positive discrimination' they are not seen as levelling-up, but as creating a division and discriminating against the majority.
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by crfriend »

pelmut wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:29 pm
Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 12:24 pm
How hate crime laws, that work in the US just like the description Greenboots gave of UK law, create division is beyond me?
Special laws like that create resentment towards the 'privileged' people who are perceived as having extra protection which ordinary people don't have.  In reality they don't have any extra protection but were previously under-protected before the extra laws were passed.  Like all forms of so-called 'positive discrimination' they are not seen as levelling-up, but as creating a division and discriminating against the majority.
This is a practical illustration of the Law of Unintended Consequences -- something that is likely never considered during the crafting or the debate on proposed laws.

There's a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it, and the right way is to strictly enforce the laws that say, "No discrimination" irrespective of who the victim is or who the perpetrator is. Good law applies equally, always; bad law applies inequally and creates trouble, division, and resentment.
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Jim
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by Jim »

In the US, hate crime laws give a chance to prosecute when local prejudices prevent local protection. I agree they would be unneeded if prosecutions were fair, but they're not.
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by skirted84 »

Thanks greenboots for info. I was aware there were concerns from various religious groups and common concerns from those who wouldn't be in the same room eg. Orange Order and the Catholic church.

It was my understanding the Braccadale report wanted to make these offences aggravators (fairly self explanatory) so on top of another crime not a crime in itself. Case in point being a transwoman recently beat up in a bar for being trans (had surgery to transition so not a man in a skirt but still), thats a crime in itself and hopefully greater punishment for targeting a vulnerable group.

As stated the Justice secretary has listened and raised the bar on the stirring up offence to require proof of intent. That seems welcomed all round. I think having experienced racism himself his initial view was to apply current protections for race to everything else. Racism is almost universally condemned here and LGBT phobia hasn't caught up culturally never mind fashion freedom.

"Detriment" is still relevant as encouraging large numbers to hate a vulnerable group and possibly commit violence or acts that further structural inequality is detrimental and rightly a concern for lawmakers. The dissent to what was proposed is mostly related to lack of clarity and who will decide what constitutes "hatred" which lead to immersuarble disruption to ones life even if found not guilty.
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by Knickson »

I would remind people that Scotland is under the rule of the Scottish National Party , a left wing nasty group against freedom , and further if England was taken over by the EDL or the National Front the media would be in a constant war with the elected Gov (like they are with Boris but only more so). shows how twisted they are in Scotland when the National dress is a kilt (skirt) for both men and women and yet they will not protect the freedom of men to wear skirts.
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by Ray »

Care to substantiate that claim?

The SNP has the highest support in history: not bad going for a nasty party.

You use the term “left wing” in a pejorative manner. Can you please also explain your reasoning behind this. As to how the SNP are against freedom, words fail me. That’s the central plank of their manifesto...
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by Kirbstone »

...and when they get independence from the rest of the UK, they'll dig a trench along where Hadrian's Wall used to be. The Caledonian Canal will be eclipsed big time. They're even thinking of building a bridge over to Northern Ireland !!!

I thought the North Sea oil revenue had almost run out...

Tom
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Re: Scottish Hate Crime law

Post by rivegauche »

Kirbstone wrote:
Fri Oct 16, 2020 9:31 am
...and when they get independence from the rest of the UK, they'll dig a trench along where Hadrian's Wall used to be. The Caledonian Canal will be eclipsed big time. They're even thinking of building a bridge over to Northern Ireland !!!

I thought the North Sea oil revenue had almost run out...

Tom
This is getting scary. The SNP have no intention of creating barriers with England. England will be our immediate neighbours and there will no more be a trench than there is one between Norway and Sweden. The SNP are not thinking of building a bridge to Northern Ireland - Boris is. Fortunately the Scottish people are seeing beyond this misinformation (including the fictional deficit) and democracy will eventually triumph over the dictat of the leader of a party Scotland did not vote for, and we will achieve our independence - pro-independence polling is now at 58%. We were also given a vow that if we voted No in 2014 we would be treated with respect and when we voted 62% to remain in Europe that respect was put in the bin. The vow was a lie. We are fed up of being taken to places we don't want to go by a party we did not vote for. As for oil, when the UK Government met the alleged difficulties of the N Sea oil industry by giving them huge tax breaks, the Norwegian Government took in £4 billion in revenue. We now have a PM in the UK who has declared that even if the Scots vote en masse for a party that wants independence in 2021 (they already have in a General Election) he will block it. So much for democracy - we are apparently living in a dictatorship. If the Scots want to go their own way how dare a different country block this.
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