Victims of hate crime are being asked to take part in an independent review of laws covering the offence.

Judge Lord Bracadale is chairing the review to look at whether new hate crime laws are needed, if current laws are appropriate and consistent and if they need to be simplified or rationalised through a single hate crime act.

He will also examine whether new laws should be created to cover age and gender hate crimes.

Hate crime victims and legal professionals in Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire are asked to give their views on the overall legislation, with an online questionnaire being used to gather evidence.

The survey asks respondents how they define hate crime, if they have experienced it and, if so, what impact it had on them.

Lord Bracadale said: “I am keen to reach out to a wide variety of interested parties to hear more about what they understand hate crime to be and how they have been affected by it, in order to ensure that the consultation paper which I will issue in the summer addresses these issues comprehensively and moves the discussion forward.

“I have devised a short questionnaire which I would encourage anyone with an interest in this topic to complete.

“In my early work on the review, I have been struck by how important it is that the criminal justice system is able to provide effective protection for individuals and communities affected by hate crime.”

Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Annabelle Ewing has also urged people to fill out the survey.

She said: “Racism, intolerance and prejudice of all kinds are a constant threat to society.

“While we already have robust and comprehensive laws in place, we need to make sure that legislation is up-to-date and able to counter all forms of hate crime.

“I’m pleased that Lord Bracadale is taking forward a review of this legislation and carrying out a robust engagement exercise to obtain evidence about how hate crime is understood, what its impact is and how effectively the current law deals with it.”

To take part in the survey, visit