JK Rowling in ‘arrest me’ challenge over Scottish hate crime law

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The maximum penalty under the new act in Scotland is a jail sentence of seven years.

A person commits an offence if they communicate material, or behave in a manner, “that a reasonable person would consider to be threatening or abusive,” with the intention of stirring up hatred based on protected characteristics.

Hatred based on race, sex and religion was already illegal in Great Britain under the Public Order Act 1986, but that will also now fall under the new act in Scotland

The bar for this offence is lower than for the other protected characteristics, as it also includes “insulting” behaviour.

In England and Wales stirring up hatred over race, religion or sexual orientation by threatening behaviour remains illegal.