This is a blog for writing about law and feminism: a legal analysis of feminism and a feminist analysis of law.  It isn’t legal advice, and it won’t provide answers, but I hope it will be informative.

2 thoughts on “Introduction”

  1. Please any specific detail on call for input Scotland ‘hate crime bill proposal’ ends 24th and please please please encourage people to input!
    The lack if supporting data is apalling! Yet was the first thing highlighted by original review.
    COPFS has no data on VSC.
    Pure silencing threat intimidation really bad. One time no corroboration offence max 7 years for 1 comment etc. The potential is there. And so many ‘ploys’ to extend in the future 🙁

    1. I’m a Scottish lawyer and am interested in the Hate Crimes Bill from a freedom of expression standpoint. I need to look at Lord Bracadale’s review on hate crime legislation in Scotland again (which predated the Bill) but I think the Bill deviates from his recommendations in two significant respects – and I would be interested to know the drivers behind the variations. 1) Bracadale is clear that any hierarchy of protected characteristics is undesirable but given the omission of sex or misogyny (contrary to his recommendations) (and 2) below) the Bill does seem to entrench such a hierarchy. 2) Bracadale recommends that a protection of freedom of expression provision similar to that for religion in the Public Order Act should be included. It is, but only in respect of the protected characteristics of religion and sexual orientation – the provision makes it clear that e.g behaviour or material is not to be taken as threatening or abusive solely on the basis that it involves or includes discussion or criticism of sexual conduct or practices or urging persons to refrain from such practices. The implication is of course that without this ‘carve out’ such discussion etc could be threatening or abusive and criminal.
      The definition of transgender identity in the Bill includes a person who cross-dresses. Bizarrely, any discussion or criticism of this cross dressing (e.g parents complaining about drag queen story time at primary school) would not be protected by any freedom of expression carve out such as would apply if the reader were gay or religious.
      There are other scenarios which spring to mind based on recent events where disputes arise between holders of different protected characteristics- there is a real possibility under the Bill as drafted that one such set of people will be gagged whilst the others will not….

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