Will new hate crime legislation help to protect more groups?
Despite gender and disability being protected under equal opportunity legislation, they have not featured under anti-hate laws. However, this is set to change, as a recent policy summit at the University of East Anglia has taken steps to help safeguard groups which are often subjected to hate speech, by looking to extend these offences to cover disability and gender identity.
The possibility of extending hatred offences to women and the disabled has been in the pipeline for at least a decade, however the Law Commission has been looking for evidence to justify this change. High-profile mass killings in America and Japan, fueled by gender identity and disability, have contributed to this.
Carl Newman, partner in BDB Pitmans’ crime team, comments in The Times on this issue, stating the need for a unified legislation which deals with all hate speech consistently.
The full article is available to subscribers of The Times, here.