There is an ongoing debate amongst hate crime scholars about the categories of victims which should be included within hate crime legislation. Some commentators argue that affording protection to groups based on pre-defined characteristics results in many victims being excluded from the legislation. They would prefer a more inclusive approach which would offer protection to a potentially limitless number of groups. This paper considers the question from a doctrinal perspective, and argues that a principled way of deciding the characteristics of hate crime is required. It will conclude that the core concern of hate crime legislation is with the furthering of the broader equality agenda and, as such, the victims of hate crime should form an exclusive group based on those characteristics protected under equality legislation. This approach can help provide a theoretical framework for hate crime legislation which can be more easily accommodated within criminal law principles.
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\School of Law
Year of publication: 2017Date of RADAR deposit: 2017-03-07