Law Commission to review hate crimes

The Law Commission is to review how protected characteristics including sex and gender are treated within hate crime laws.

On Wednesday MPs approved the Voyeurism Bill, which will outlaw ‘upskirting’ – the unsolicited taking of pictures or videos under someone’s clothing.

Stella Creasy MP wanted the Bill to be changed so that those found to be guilty of crimes against women would face a tougher sentence if their actions were deemed to be motivated by misogyny.


Justice Minister Lucy Frazer said the “narrow Bill” is not the time to debate changing the law and instead announced a review into hate crime laws.

Frazer said: “I’m pleased to announce today I will be asking the Law Commission to undertake a review of the coverage and approach of hate crime legislation following their earlier recommendation to do so.

“This review will include how protected characteristics, including sex and gender characteristics, should be considered by new or existing hate crime law.”


In the past, hate crime laws have been used to prosecute Christians – notably in 2009 when Christian hoteliers Ben and Sharon Vogelenzang were put on trial in a criminal court because they criticised Islam during a discussion about religion with a Muslim lady.

The brief conversation, which was calm and polite, took place in Ben and Sharon’s hotel in Liverpool.

After a two-day trial at Liverpool Magistrates Court, the judge dismissed the case.

The Christian couple were supported by The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund.

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