Offence of hate crime – transgender: Scotland

Offence of hate crime – transgender: Scotland

When was protection from trans hate crime introduced?

Protection from hate crime for LGBT+ people has followed protections on other grounds. LGBT+ people experience high levels of hate crime. It has taken years and much campaigning for the law to do something about this.

Protection for LGBT+ people has not happened all at the same time. It has been introduced at different times for different groups in different parts of the UK

2003 Criminal Justice Act – sexual orientation across the UK

2009 The Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act

2012 Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offender Act – England, Wales and Northern Ireland

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 came into force in April 2005. The Act instructed courts to recognise hostility at the time of an offence. That included hostility towards someone of a particular sexual orientation or someone who is transgender.

Using the 2003 Act the punishment for someone who commits a homophobic and biphobic hate crime can increase.

An increase of punishment for a transphobic hate crime was not included in the 2003 Act. In Scotland that changed in 2009 in The Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act.

 

What are hate crimes?

Hate crimes are acts of violence or hostility directed at people because of who they are or who someone thinks they are.

There are different terms for LGBT hate crime. Hate crime against lgb people, or those thought to be lgb, can be known as the umbrella homophobic hate crime, or using the terms lesbophobic or biphobic. Hate crime towards trans people is known as transphobic hate crime.

How does hate crime affect sentencing?

The Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Act 2009 allows an increase in the penalties for a transphobic hate crime. An offence can be ‘aggravated’ by having a hate element. The motivation of hate, based on actual or perceived transgender identity is considered during sentencing.

The Act also includes the motivation of hate to someone of a particular sexual orientation in levelling the penalties on the grounds of sexual orientation and transgender identity in Scotland.

 

What is the National LGBT Hate Crime Partnership?

The National LGBT Hate Crime Partnership brings together LGBT organisations from across England, Wales and Scotland. The project is run by the LGBT partnership on behalf of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

 

The Equality Network is a member. It wants to let LGBTI people living in Scotland know that the law is there to protect them. They work with Police Scotland and the Crown Office to make sure that they support people in the best way possible if they report an incident.

 

An independent review of hate crime in Scotland published a report in May 2019. 

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