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Explanatory Memorandum to Criminal Justice (No 2) (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

Inciting hatred or arousing fear on grounds of sexual orientation or disability

Article 3 extends the protections of Part III of the Public Order (Northern Ireland) Order 1987 to include groups defined by reference to sexual orientation or disability.  (Part III currently provides offences and penalties against the use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, the display and distribution of written material, and related activities intended or likely to stir up hatred or arouse fear.)  The protections, currently provided with regard to religious belief, colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origins, are extended by Article 3 to include sexual orientation and disability.  The penalties for stirring up hatred or arousing fear in such cases is: on summary conviction, a maximum of 6 months imprisonment, a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both; on conviction on indictment, a maximum of 2 years imprisonment, a fine, or both.

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