General Scheme of new hate crime legislation published

19 Apr 2021

The Department of Justice has secured approval from Government Ministers to introduce new hate crime legislation in Ireland.

The General Scheme of the Criminal Justice (Hate Crime) Bill 2021 creates new forms of certain existing criminal offences, where those offences are motivated by prejudice against a protected characteristic, such as race, colour, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, gender, and disability.

The kinds of crimes that are defined as aggravated offences under the Bill include assault, coercion, harassment, criminal damage, threat to kill or cause serious harm and endangerment. Assault aggravated by prejudice will be a different and more serious offence to ordinary assault, in the same way that harassment aggravated by prejudice will be a separate and more serious offence to ordinary harassment.

The only prior legislation in Ireland that deals with hate-based offences is the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989. Ireland does not currently have any specific legislation to deal with hate crime.

For further information, see:

General Scheme Criminal Justice (Hate Crime) Bill 2021

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