The Law Commission has recently opened a public consultation on whether to expand existing hate crime laws in England and Wales. The proposals would extend laws that currently cover hate based on race and religion to also include disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
In response to the consultation, Birkbeck School of Law and the Birkbeck Gender & Sexuality Group (BiGS) are hosting a discussion forum at 3.00-5.30pm on Thursday 8 August 2013 to consider the following questions:
- How might we respond to the Law Commission’s proposals?
- Is harsher sentencing an appropriate response to hate-motivated violence and hatred-inciting speech?
- Is the consultation’s focus on sentencing too narrow? What issues are missing?
- What strategies should be prioritised in preventing, addressing and responding to hate-motivated violence?
The forum will provide space for dialogue among a range of groups who are affected by the proposal and consider perspectives that are often absent from the broader public debates about hate crime. Speakers will provide background information and different views on the Consultation and then all participants will have an opportunity share their experiences and ideas. The forum aims to provide a space to critically discuss the implications of the proposal across targeted groups and explore alternative ways of creating systemic community safety for marginalised people.
The event will be a participatory one. Participants are encouraged to read the Consultation Summary document (available from the link below) before the forum, but this is not a requirement to attend.
This event is for anyone with an interest or stake in the proposed changes to the laws including those targeted groups, practitioners, academics and activists.
This event is free and open to the public although spaces are limited.
To register, please contact Jennifer Fraser: email@example.com by July 31st.
The proposed changes would expand the “aggravated offences” section in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and the “stirring up of hatred” offences in the Public Order Act 1986. The changes would allow harsher penalties (i.e. longer prison sentences) in convictions for these offences where hostility is demonstrated towards people on the grounds of disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Details of the Consultation are available here: http://lawcommission.justice.gov.uk/consultations/hate_crime.htm
3:00 – 5:30pm Thursday 8 August 2013
Location: Room G15, Malet Street Building, Birkbeck College, University of London
Directions & Accessibility:
Accessibility: We aim to make this an accessible and inclusive event. The venue is wheelchair accessible with accessible toilets nearby. If you face other accessibility barriers, please let us know so we can know so we can support your participation. Contact: Jennifer Fraser firstname.lastname@example.org
The entrance to the Malet Street Building is from Torrington Square. When you enter the main doors, go straight ahead to the end of the foyer and turn right. Room G15 is a few doors down the corridor on the left side.
The Malet Street (Main) Birkbeck Building is No1 on the attached map: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/downloads/centrallondon.pdf
Transport Directions to Birkbeck: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/maps/directions-central