DoJ consultation on hate crime legislation is due to close on Monday 28 March 2022.

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DoJ consultation on hate crime legislation is due to close on Monday 28 March 2022.

A copy of the consultation is available on the Department’s website at https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/consultations/consultation-hate-crime-legislation-northern-ireland

The public consultation is calling for views to inform the development of a Hate Crime Bill, which will be taken forward in the next Assembly mandate. Proposals for the introduction of a Hate Crime Bill for Northern Ireland builds on recommendations from a comprehensive and wide-ranging independent review of hate crime legislation, commissioned by the Department of Justice and carried out by Judge Desmond Marrinan, which was published in December 2020.

The Public consultation will be undertaken in two phases.  Phase one, will consult on a number of policy issues currently being developed for a forthcoming Hate Crime Bill, with plans for a second public consultation in the new mandate on the remaining issues.

The first phase will focus on the following areas:

  • A new statutory aggravation model, which will allow the ‘hate’ factor of an offence to be recognised at the start of the investigation stage, through the prosecution process and on conviction;
  • Sectarian Offending – definition of sectarianism and a proposed sectarian aggravator in the context of hate crime;
  • Stirring Up Offences including the repeal of the dwelling defence and replacing it with a private conversations defence; and asking if the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should personally take decisions for stirring up hatred prosecutions;
  • Special measures and protection from cross-examination for victims of hate crime; and
  • A call for views, exploring Misogyny/Transmisogyny in Hate Crime Law.

If you have not already responded, we would welcome your engagement in this consultation and encourage you to share your views and thoughts on this important issue.

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