NICRE Briefing Paper on the Reform of Hate Crime Law in NI: Part I – The Basic Hate Crime Offences

There are three types of hate crime law in the UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They are (1) under the current hate crime aggravated offences (not apply to NI) and related enhancing sentencing; 2. under the public order offences; and 3. under anti-terrorist law. These offences are confusing as they are coming from different part of the statutory law. It is not only confusion to victims, witnesses and their family members and friends and/or community, it also makes the legal profession, including judges, confuse, too, if they are not familiarised of the current law and practice, in particular, sentencing. Need not to say some ground is more difficult to establish a hate motive or hostility towards the victims such as disability under the current enhancing sentencing regime. The Reform of Hate Crime Law in NI- Part I Final