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NUJ welcomes changes to Scottish hate legislation

24 September 2020

The NUJ has welcomed the amendments to the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill announced by the Scotland’s justice secretary Humza Yousaf.

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to add new characteristics, such as age and sex, to legal protection. However, many organisations, including the NUJ, have criticised the clauses relating to behaviour “likely to stir up” hatred.

The fear was that such a broad law would induce a chilling effect and endanger freedom of expression. The amendment raises the threshold, and conviction would only be possible if it can be proved that someone intended to incite bigotry through their behaviour. Welcoming the move, John Toner, NUJ national organiser, said:

“It is very encouraging that Mr Yousaf has listened carefully to the objections made to him and that he has introduced this crucial change. He has assured us that he will listen to further suggestions as to how freedom of expression can be assured.”

Humza Yousaf u-turns and agrees to amend hate crime

Tags: , Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, Humza Yousaf, hate crime, freedom of expression