'Bigot bill' likely for Scotland
Bigotry is set to equal racism under new legislation which could shortly come into effect in Scotland.
As the rate of sectarian attacks north of the Border shows no sign of abating, the Scottish Executive confirmed they were examining bringing in new laws which would treat such attacks in the same way as racist incidents.
A working party has been engaged in a wide-ranging examination of measures to include in the new Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill but is understood to have not directly considered legislation concerning sectarian attacks until violence flared at the recent Celtic v Rangers football clash.
The Old Firm game resulted in a number of arrests both at the ground and also in various places around the country among fans watching the match on television.
The Scottish Executive are now considering two ways of bringing in new anti-sectarian legislation, by adapting the an amendment of the existing Criminal Justice Bill or by composing new legislation based on the findings of the working party.
A spokesman for the Scottish Bishops' Conference told The Universe that while the Bishops had not actively campaigned for anti-sectarian legislation either before or after the recent trouble, they would generally be supportive of any action which would help reduce the frequency of such incidents.
Scottish Executive | Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill
Archbishop faces e-mail campaign of hate (Edinburgh News)
Scottish church owns up to anti-Catholic legacy (31/5/02)
29 Oct 2002