Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill

Scottish Green party leader Patrick Harvie's member's bill, the Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill (see previously here) passed its final stage in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd June 2009 with all party support.

The bill provides that where it is established that crimes motivated by prejudice relating to disability, sexual orientation and transgender status this may be treated as an aggravating factor to be taken into account in sentencing. On passage of the bill Patrick Harvie said,

"The Parliament has today spoken with one voice, and this is a day all Scots can be proud of. At last, our courts will be required to hand down sentences for hate crimes against LGBT and disabled Scots that reflect the true nature of these crimes, just as they already can for offences motivated by racial or religious hatred. This legislation is a small but significant step in the right direction, but I personally will never be satisfied until these abhorrent crimes are a thing of the past altogether.

"I would also like to thank all those who have helped this Bill get onto the statute books, including those brave victims who have been prepared to come forward as well as a wide range of voluntary organisations, the police, and Scottish Ministers."