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Law Commission Review of Hate Crime

The Law Commission has launched a consultation paper and  have made a number of proposals for reform of hate crime laws. These include:

  • Equalising protection across all of the existing protected characteristics. This would involve extending the application of aggravated offences, stirring up hatred offences, and potentially football chanting offences to those characteristics that are not already covered
  • Adding sex or gender to the protected characteristics.
  • Establishing criteria for deciding whether any additional characteristics should be recognised in hate crime laws, and consulting further on a range of other characteristics, notably “age”.
  • Reformulating the offences of stirring up hatred to focus on deliberate incitement of hatred, providing greater protection for freedom of speech where no intent to incite hatred can be proven.
  • Expanding the offence of racist chanting at football matches to cover homophobic chanting, and other forms of behaviour, such as gestures and throwing missiles at players.

Responding to the consultation

The Commission invite consultees to submit their views on reforms to hate crime laws

Detailed and specific questions can be found in the consultation paper itself and can be responded to using this online questionnaire.

There are also broad consultation questions in the summary. These can be responded to using this online questionnaire.

Consultees are invited to respond to as many or as few questions as they wish, whether the broad questions found in the summary or the more detailed questions in the consultation paper itself.

Where possible, it would be helpful if these online survey tools were used. Alternatively, comments may be sent:

by email to
by post to Hate Crime Team, Law Commission, 1st Floor, 52 Queen Anne’s Gate, London, SW1H 9AG.