The Regulation Society has welcome proposed reforms that might guarantee disabled and LGBT+ victims of hate crime obtain the identical safety as these focused due to their race or faith.
Following an intensive overview of hate crime and hate speech legal guidelines, the Regulation Fee revealed a number of suggestions to deal with inconsistencies in the best way hate crime legal guidelines deal with completely different protected traits. As an illustration, aggravated offences, which may end up in harder sentences, presently apply solely to racial and non secular hostility.
The fee recommends extending aggravated offences to cowl all current traits in hate crime legal guidelines: race, faith, sexual orientation, incapacity and transgender id.
Regulation Society president I. Stephanie Boyce mentioned: ‘In our consultation response, we said it was illogical for aggravated offences to only apply to race or religion-based hostility and should include enhanced sentencing provisions on hostility based on transgender identity, disability and sexual orientation.’
The fee provisionally proposed including intercourse and gender as protected traits for the needs of aggravated offences and enhanced sentencing, contemplating three potential reform choices. Nevertheless, it concluded that the proposals ‘create more problems than they solve’.
Boyce mentioned: ‘We raised concerns about the suitability of this proposal as it creates problems on how to deal with forced marriage, FGM, domestic abuse and sexual offences, which are predominantly against women. The prosecution’s already troublesome job in proving rape and different sexual offences might be compounded by having to show gender-based aggravation too. It will additional complicate these trials and improve the trauma for victims.’
As an alternative, the fee says the federal government ought to overview the necessity for a particular offence of public sexual harassment.
The fee makes 34 suggestions in its wide-ranging report.