Scotland (March 11, 2021) “Justice Secretary claims law strikes right balance following impassioned debate over one of most controversial bills in Holyrood history

The SNP’s controversial hate crime laws were passed at Holyrood last night despite lingering concerns they will undermine freedom of expression.

MSPs approved the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill following a lengthy debate, over two days, over dozens of amendments designed to prevent the criminalisation of free speech.

The Bill consolidated a number of laws into one piece of legislation, but added the offence of stirring up hatred. 

However, Humza Yousaf, the Justice Secretary, was forced to radically water down the original version following a backlash from artists, the BBC, sheriffs, senior police officers, high court judges and celebrities including John Cleese.

The second part of the legislation has caused controversy because it would criminalise the “stirring up of hatred”, which could lead to charges over comments perceived to be offensive even if that was not the intention.”

Read the full coverage on The Telegraph

Recommended Posts