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Scotland's hate crime laws soon to include misogynistic behaviour

Scotland’s ministers are set to hold a consultation on tackling misogynistic behaviour through strengthening criminal hate laws.

The current laws in Scotland categorise a hate crime as crime aggravated by prejudice in one or more of the characteristics of race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender.

Earlier this year the hate crime legislation was reviewed by Lord Bracadale. In his report, Lord Bracadale recommended consolidation of the laws and the addition of gender and age hostility aggravations.

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf, announced the upcoming consultation, explaining that measures on tackling misogyny and misogynistic-based crime will be discussed.

Mr Yousaf said: "The Scottish Government is working with a range of partners - through education, legislation and enforcement - to tackle violence against women and girls, including challenging unacceptable attitudes and harmful behaviour.

"So there is a clear need for continued action to be taken to tackle gender-based prejudice and misogyny in Scotland, although there are different views on the specific actions needed.

We will be consulting later this year on Lord Bracadale's recommendations for necessary reform to Scotland's hate crime legislation. We will keep an open mind on the best way to address behaviour motivated by misogyny, including the possibility of new criminal law measures.”

"The consultation will be launched in November and will seek views on a number of options, including an aggravation based on gender hostility as proposed by Lord Bracadale. But we will also ask whether, separately, a specific offence targeting misogynistic behaviour could be an effective step in addressing this form of behaviour and the damage it does."

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