A 'two-tier society': the new hate crime law in Scotland

New act has been dismissed as 'illiberal' and 'patronising'

Police in Scotland
Critics describe the new law as a 'scandal'
(Image credit: Mike Boyd - Pool / Getty Images)

What do a "sex shop, a mushroom farm and a 'hate monster' have in common?" asked the BBC.

They're all at the heart of a "blazing row" about "prejudice, offence and freedom of speech", ignited by the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act, which comes into force on 1 April. Supporters say the new legislation is a "serious and essential attempt to make Scotland a more tolerant society", said the broadcaster's Scotland editor James Cook. 

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