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Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021

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PART 2 SOffence of racially aggravated harassment

3Racially aggravated harassmentS

(1)A person commits an offence if the person—

(a)pursues a racially aggravated course of conduct which amounts to harassment of another person and—

(i)is intended to amount to harassment of that person, or

(ii)occurs in circumstances where it would appear to a reasonable person that it would amount to harassment of that person, or

(b)acts in a manner which is racially aggravated and which causes, or is intended to cause, another person alarm or distress.

(2)A course of conduct or an action is racially aggravated if—

(a)at the time of carrying out the course of conduct or action, or immediately before or after doing so—

(i)the offender demonstrates malice and ill-will towards the victim, and

(ii)the malice and ill-will is based on the victim's membership or presumed membership of a group defined by reference to race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), or ethnic or national origins, or

(b)the course of conduct or action is motivated (wholly or partly) by malice and ill-will towards a group of persons based on the group being defined by reference to race, colour, nationality (including citizenship), or ethnic or national origins.

(3)It is immaterial whether or not the offender's malice and ill-will is also based (to any extent) on any other factor.

(4)A course of conduct must involve conduct on at least two occasions.

(5)In this section—

  • conduct” includes speech,

  • “harassment” of a person includes causing the person alarm or distress,

  • membership”, in relation to a group, includes association with members of that group,

  • presumed” means presumed by the offender.

(6)A person who commits an offence under this section is liable—

(a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (or both), or

(b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years or a fine (or both).

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