Skip to main content

When Law and Hate Collide: Perspectives on Hate Crime

With the financial support from the Daphne III Programme of the European Union.

The Daphne III programme aims to contribute to the protection of children, young people and women against all forms of violence and attain a high level of health protection, well-being and social cohesion.

Its specific objective is to contribute to the prevention of, and the fight against all forms of violence occurring in the public or the private domain, including sexual exploitation and trafficking of human beings.

It aims to take preventive measures and provide support and protection for victims and groups at risk.

The publications and website have been produced with the financial support of the Daphne III Programme of the European Union. The contents of these publications and website are the sole responsibility of the University of Central Lancashire and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.

The project was a collaboration of:

  • Lancashire Law School at the University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom, led by the project’s Principal Investigator Professor Michael Salter with Dr. Kim McGuire
  • The Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, led by Prof Christian Munthe
  • The Institute of Special Needs Education within the Department of Education Sciences at the Goethe University Frankfurt, led by Prof Dr Michael Fingerle.

To achieve its ultimate aim, the project explored a number of key questions such as:

  • Does the concept of Hate Crime Really Exist?
  • What is Hate Crime?
  • How can it be defined?
  • How far removed (if at all) from an aggravated crime is a Hate Crime?
  • Do we need a Hate Crime Law?
  • What groups of people should it cover?
  • Would a law violate any Human Rights?
  • Do victims of Hate Crime Support a Hate Crime Law?
  • Why do offenders commit Hate Crimes?
  • Is Hate Crime already legislated against?


The aims were achieved through a number of traditional academic and other wider public engagement activities including:

  • A Modified Policy Delphi Study
  • Focus Groups
  • Semi Structured Interviews
  • Online Survey
  • Viral Video Activity
  • Social Media Interactions

The project concluded with a number of key landmark outputs which included the traditional reporting requirements but also:

  • The Philosophy of Hate Crime Anthology
  • An Edited Volume of Symposium Presentations
  • A fictional Monograph
  • A number of Radio Documentaries
  • Social Media Activity
  • Web based viral activity
  • CPD Courses
  • Online toolkits

The results ultimately aimed to determine whether, and if so, how, the European Union should intervene within Member State policy/legal frameworks to develop a minimum standard of protection against Hate Crime and if so how far reaching should this be.



Caroline has a Masters degree in Education and works as a research assistant at the Institute of Special Education at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.

She specialises in the inclusion of people with learning disabilities and ADHD in higher education and working life. Her previous research focused on resilience and coping strategies and the support and inclusion of people with mental health disorders. Her special interest is on the psychological effects of hate crime.

  • Hate Crime Perception and Prosecution Problematic in Practice? - A chapter from this has now been published in the journal Contemporary Issues in Law - volume 13 Issue 1, 2014
  • Philosophy of hate crime part 1 
  • Philosophy of hate crime part 11 
  • The Philosophy of Hate Crime, special issue of Journal of Interpersonal Violence, including contributions by Barbara Perry, Paul Iganski, Heidi M Hurd, Neil Chakraborti, Antti Kaupi, Mohamad Al-hakim, David Brax and Christian Munthe, guest-edited by David Brax and Christian Munthe. In press, forthcoming 2014.
  • Brax, D. Motives, Reasons and Responsibility in Hate Crime Legislation. Submitted to Criminal Law and Philosophy.
  • Hate - the fictional novel Front Sheet 
  • The accidental birth of hate crime in transitional criminal law Front Sheet
  • Hate crime and legal responses - The articles in this item have been published in the journal Contemporary Issues in Law - volume 13 Issue 1, 2014
  • Modified delphi report on hate crime
  • Cumbria focus group report 
  • State of the union report on hate crime in the EU
  • EU suggested best practice report
  • Literature review (UCLan) on 'hate crime' 
  • Hate crime survey report 
  • The Role of Aggravated Offences in Combating Hate Crime – 15 years after the CDA 1998 – Time for a change? - This article has been published in the journal Contemporary Issues in Law - volume 13 Issue 1, 2014.

Online Surveys

Online surveys NGO survey and Hate Crime Survey - results to be announced soon

This documentary has been produced with the financial support of the Daphne III Programme of the European Union. The contents of the documentary are the sole responsibility of the University of Central Lancashire and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission.

The documentary has various speakers including representatives from UCLan and our partner organisations, Universities of Gothenburg and Frankfurt, and external experts in hate crime.

Radio Documentary


 Aztex Theatre School: Disability Hate Crime 

Never again 'Exhibition promotes anti-discrimination on polish parliament' 

An anti-discrimination football exhibition prepared by the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association has been opened in the main hall of the Polish Parliament on 19 February 2014.

The opening ceremony was hosted by Deputy Speaker Wanda Nowicka, Poland's leading campaigner against discrimination and for women's rights.

The exhibition was brought to the Parliament on the initiative of Robert Biedron MP, the founder of Campaign Against Homophobia and a long time ally of the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association. Since autumn 2013, Robert Biedron is the General Rapporteur on LGBT rights in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The opening ceremony was also attended by, among others, Equality Minister Agnieszka Kozlowska-Rajewicz and Artur Gorczynski MP for the Parliamentary Committee on Physical Culture, Sports and Tourism.

The exhibition will be displayed for a full week during the Parliament in session and it will be seen by hundreds of politicians, journalists and visitors. It has already travelled around the country and has been shown in numerous schools, clubs and community centres.

The exhibition is entitled 'Let's Kick Racism out of the Stadiums' and it celebrates football as a force which unites people irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. It showcases the multi-cultural history of Polish football and the contribution of ethnic minority players - Jewish, Russian, African and others - to the Polish game. It also illustrates the persisting problems such as antisemitism, racism, and other discriminations. Finally, the exhibition reminds of the festive atmosphere of Euro 2012 and the legacy of the ‘RESPECT Diversity - Football Unites’ campaign implemented by the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association in cooperation with UEFA and the FARE network.

'We witness with horror the tragedy which has unfolded in the Ukraine in these days. We also think back to the good moments of the European Championships hosted by our nations' - said Dr Rafal Pankowski of the 'NEVER AGAIN' Association and Vice-Chair of the Board of the FARE Network.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an anti-racist educational, research and monitoring organization established in Poland in 1996. In 2009, in cooperation with UEFA and the FARE network ‘NEVER AGAIN’ set up the East Europe Monitoring Centre documenting racism and xenophobia across the region. In 2012, it implemented the 'RESPECT Diversity - Football Unites' social responsibility project accompanying the European Football Championships in Poland and Ukraine. In recent weeks and months, ‘NEVER AGAIN’ has conducted dozens of grass-roots anti-racism events and trainings for schools and other institutions and it has shared experiences on the ground with partners in several countries such as Russia, Greece, Germany, Norway, and Sweden.

More information:

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on 27 January each year. It’s a time for everyone to pause to remember the millions of people who have been murdered or whose lives have been changed beyond recognition during the Holocaust, Nazi Persecution and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

On HMD we can honour the survivors of these regimes and challenge ourselves to use the lessons of their experience to inform our lives today. 27 January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. HMD is a time when we seek to learn the lessons of the past and to recognise that genocide does not just take place on its own, it’s a steady process which can begin if discrimination, racism and hatred are not checked and prevented. We’re fortunate here in the UK; we are not at risk of genocide. However, discrimination has not ended, nor has the use of the language of hatred or exclusion. There is still much to do to create a safer future and HMD is an opportunity to start this process. HMD is an opportunity for activity organisers bring together the diverse strands of their communities to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day in their neighbourhoods. This is a real demonstration of how the lessons of the past can inform our lives today and ensure that everyone works together to create a safer, better future. See more - why mark HMD?

Lancashire Law School UCLan and Holocaust Memorial Day 2014

'UCLan will be running a poster competition for students in order to support the day – posters to be displayed along the Law School corridor on the 27th. The competition is open to all law students on all courses and the prizes will be: 1st prize £100 ticketmaster voucher, 2nd £50 voucher, 4 runners up x £25 vouchers.'

Posters here are by staff members and refer to the work of the Law School regarding 'hate crime' and genocide, and also to the Holocaust Memorial Centre's 'Path to Genocide' using the 8 stage theory of genocide.'


Programme and Presentations

  • Programme of events


  • Stephen Brookes & Clare Bradley: Presentation & Video
  • Rose Simkins: Presentation and Video
  • Josh Durham: Presentation and Video
  • Kim McGuire Session 1: Presentation  and Video
  • Mick Cavadino: Presentation and Video
  • Kim McGuire Session 2: Presentation and Video

Additional Slides

  • Hate Crime as Recalled: the Prospects of Institutional Re-victimisation?


  • Caroline Bonnes and Michael Fingerle
  • Jackie Driver
  • Christian Munthe & David Brax

Psychological Issues and Prevention of Hate Crime

Hate Crime Symposium Part I

13th April 2012. Including video presentations.

Hate Crime Symposium YouTube channel 

David Brax and Christian Munthe The Hate Crime Concept(s) - Moral, Legal and Political Considerations

David Brax, Research Fellow, Practical Philosophy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg / Sweden

What is a hate crime? How should ”Hate Crime” be defined in order to serve it’s various functions? We present considerations from the areas of moral, legal and political philosophy to argue the benefits and drawbacks of different definitions. We point out that different functions may require different concepts. A concept of hate crime useful for policy making may be importantly distinct from a legally valid concept - one that needs to fulfil the additional requirement of justifying punishment enhancement. Hate crime as a target for policy measures may thus be importantly distinct from hate crime as a target for legal measures.

Law-makers are still left with a number of options, on which the mentioned considerations apply. We argue that there are considerable benefits in adapting a common conceptual framework for hate crimes across the EU, but to allow for some variations due to contextual considerations.

Michael Fingerle and Caroline Bonnes Risk and Resilience

Anneli Svensson How the LGBTQ population suffering from hate crimes and it’s consequences can help us understand the preventative work.

The most common hate crimes targeting the LGBTQ population are the ones committed by somebody the victim knows, such as family members, classmates or colleagues. But the most hideous crimes, such as murders, happen in public at the pub, on the street or on public transportation and are carried out by strangers. Youth and members of the transgendered group suffer more often than others from these crimes. Every time the most serious crimes happen, the impact on the community is significant; people get scared or angry and some ignore and deny it. There has been a reluctance within the minority itself to highlight the subject. Nobody wants to be considered a victim. Research shows to whom the victims turn to for help and support, and we also know what kind of help is requested.

Research also shows a close correlation between hate crimes and suicide among youth. If we want more people to report these crimes, more convictions and a better healing process, then there are many arenas to look into. The LGBTQ community might not be the best place in which to be strengthened and empowered. There are other safe places that need to be discussed. Prevention programs are essential and much more research when the assault already has taken place is required. In looking for resilience factors concerning suicide attempts, some answers for what is necessary for prevention will be found.

Edward Dunbar Assault with a Deadly Buddha: Community, Forensic, and Clinical Characteristics of Hate Crime Offenders in Los Angeles

Individuals who engage in intergroup violence are not an uncommon topic of attention by the popular media. These images shape both our assumptions concerning hate crimes and guide our attitudes about how to respond to the problem.

In this presentation the “where and how” of hate crime perpetration in a large multi-cultural urban environment will be considered in terms of neighborhood ethnography, race/ethnic change, and the behavioural factors of the commission of these criminologically unique offenses. Findings from community based organizations will highlight the idea of neighborhood vulnerability to hate crime perpetration, as well as provide information of the differences in premeditation and level of violence as predicated by the targeted victim group.

Community offending patters: the case review of the demographic and developmental characteristics of hate crime offenders apprehended by law enforcement agencies will be presented. This will include estimating offender recidivism risk, the identification of specific facets of the offender’s bias motivation, and their developmental histories in terms of education, psychiatric disturbance and exposure to violence as a child. Analysis of bias homicide offenders: the clinical and psychiatric characteristics of bias motivated homicide offenders will be examined in terms of mental competence, personality characteristics, and their development history. Comparison of post-conviction data for bias motivated homicide offenders and other homicide offenders will provide preliminary insight into the unique psychological profile of perpetrators of extreme bias. Clinical intervention with hate offenders: Discussion of the assessment and mental health intervention by the presenter with hate crime offenders will be provided to underscore the within-group diversity of these individuals and their capacity for desistance from further bias-motivated violence.

Marc Coester Community Crime Prevention in the case of Hate Crimes and Right-Wing Extremism

Since 2011 Germany is facing a new level of right wing extremism. Between 2000 and 2007 a group of extremists committed at least 10 killings out of xenophobia and hate. It is no secret that in the last 20 years since the reunification of Germany right wing extremism is an immanent fact. It is no exclusive youth subcultural appearance anymore but a growing social movement that spreads with xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, nationalistic, Neo-National Socialistic misanthropic and hate throughout Germany, Europe and the World. It undermines the principles of a free, united and multicultural society and questions the right to exist of people based on their nationality, ethnicity, religion, colour of skin, sexual orientation or disability. The presentation will explore the concept of right wing extremism in Germany and considers aspects of its development, definition, extent and appearance. It then focuses on the problems that right wing extremism causes in communities and shows the Crime Prevention Councils community counselling approach.

Helmolt Rademacher Conflict Resolution Education in Germany

Abstract to be announced

14th April 2012. Including video presentations.

Hate Crime Symposium YouTube channel 

Bastian Finke Connecting People. Living Diversity and Tolerance. MANEO

MANEO was founded in 1990 as a stand-alone project of Mann-O-Meter, Berlin’s gay switchboard. It’s the oldest and best known gay anti-violence project in Germany. Since its inception it has campaigned for tolerance and diversity.

The work of MANEO should be viewed in its historical context in Germany where explicit gay behaviour was a prosecutable offence until 1994. MANEO now acts on behalf of gay man in Berlin to challenge theses prejudices in a more and more globalised world where discrimination and prosecution against LGBT*s can not longer be seen as a local problem. The work of MANEO is assisted financially by the state of Berlin but is not sufficient for all its services. MANEO has to raise 10.000 Euros donation every year to keep its four core areas running: Victim Counselling, i.e. 800 requests for counselling and 300 people are given support every year; Documentation of Data on homophobic incidents in Berlin; Violence Prevention, for ex. Supporting the Police Schools in Berlin in their training programmes; Cooperation and Dialogue, i.e. working with local communities, recruiting voluntary helpers, and conducting fund raising activities.

Since its founding, MANEO has achieved an international reputation via its innovative projects and energetic initiatives. In addition to its core activities and financed by additional grants, founds and donations, MANEO has created and completed projects such as: the “Lesbian and Gay Street Festival” (attracts 350,000 visitors every year); two national wide surveys on personal experiences of violence among gays (41,000 participants); several International Conferences on Homophobia and Hate Crimes; the campaign “Kiss Kiss Berlin” (supported by Berlin’s Tourism Board); the “Rainbow Bridge-Project” (Berlin-Cologne-Tel Aviv); the “Berlin Tolerance Federation” (co-operation with over 80 partners in Berlin); as partner in an EU funded project called “Tracing and Tackling Hate Crime”, etc.

Ulrich Wagner Evaluation of hate crime prevention – methodology and first meta-analytic summaries

Social scientific intervention should be based on empirically supported theories. This implies that a promising and effective prevention against hate crime needs profound scientific knowledge about relevant courses of hate crime. However, theory based intervention alone does not guarantee the effectiveness of the intervention. Effectiveness has to be empirically controlled in form of evaluation. The presentation describes the needed preconditions and opportunities for the appropriate evaluation of hate crime prevention programs. Following the suggestions made by the Campbell-Collaboration it is argues that for the establishment of broad and valid anti-hate crime intervention strategies, the worldwide available empirical evidence about what works and what doesn’t has to be summarized. An example is given on the basis of recent meta-analyses testing the effectiveness of prevention programs against ethnic prejudice.

Hate Crime Symposium, Gothenburg, 2011 The Philosophy of Hate Crime Symposium

The Philosophy of Hate Crime Symposium Presentations

26th September 2011

Moving Beyond “Hate” Crime

Barbara Perry, Department of Social Science and Humanities, University of Ontario Institute of Technology


Perhaps justice is not served by our adoption of the phrase “hate crime” to describe violence motivated by what is, rather, animosity, or fear, or prejudice. Hate is laden with emotional connotations that distract from the true nature of the violence. It allows critics the latitude to declaim the criminalization of emotion. I argue here that we should rethink the language we use so as to highlight the ways in which hate crime is embedded not in emotion but in ongoing efforts to reinforce hierarchies and relations of power and identity.


Barbara Perry is Professor and Associate Dean of Social Science and Humanities at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. She has written extensively in the area of hate crime, including five books on the topic; among them: In the Name of Hate: Understanding Hate Crime; and Silent Victims: Hate Crime against Native Americans. Her latest book, broader in scope, is Diversity, Crime and Justice in Canada (Oxford). She is also General Editor of a five volume set on hate crime (Praeger), and editor of Volume 3: Victims of Hate Crime of that set. Dr. Perry continues to work in the area of hate crime, and has begun to make contributions to the limited scholarship on hate crime in Canada. Here, she is particularly interested in anti-Muslim violence, and hate crime against Aboriginal people. Currently, she is conducting innovative research on the community impacts of hate crime.

How hate hurts. The moral philosophical basis of ‘hate crime’ laws

Paul Iganski, Department of Applied Social Science, Lancaster University


The common denominator that separates ‘hate crimes’ from other crimes is the harms inflicted by so-called ‘hate crimes’ on targeted victims and society more broadly. While all crimes hurt in one way or another, the very essence of a ‘hate crime’ is that it hurts more than a parallel crime. The additional hurts inflicted by ‘hate crime’ provide the moral philosophical justification for hate crime laws which apply penalty enhancement for offenders convicted of such crimes. While assertions that such harms occur have been evident in the policy and scholarly literature in the United States and elsewhere for some decades the empirical evidence has been thin. In this presentation I will unravel new evidence drawn from the British Crime Survey to explore the moral philosophical foundations of laws targeted at crimes of ‘hate’.


Paul Iganski, PhD., is Senior Lecturer in Social Justice, and Head of Department of Applied Social Science, at Lancaster University, UK. For over a decade he has specialised in research, writing and teaching on ‘hate crime’, building on his earlier work on labour market equal opportunity practices (see: Iganski & Mason [2002] Ethnicity, Equality of Opportunity and the British National Health Service).

His books on ‘hate crime’ include Hate Crime and the City (2008), Hate Crimes Against London’s Jews (2005 with Vicky Kielinger & Susan Paterson) and the edited volumes Hate Crime: The Consequences of Hate Crime (2009), A New Anti-Semitism (2003 with Barry Kosmin) and The Hate Debate (2002).

He mostly conducts his research in collaboration with, or commissioned by, NGOs and the equalities sector. He has recently served as the project coordinator of the European Network Against Racism’s (ENAR) 2010 Comparative Study on Racist Violence, principal investigator (with David Smith) for the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s (EHRC) (Scotland) project on the Rehabilitation of Hate Crime Offenders (2011), and principal investigator on projects recently commissioned by the (EHRC) to analyse data from the British Crime Survey and the Scottish Crime and Justice Survey on equality groups’ perceptions and experience of harassment and crime. He also serves as coordinator of The Hate Crime Research Group — an international alliance of academics, activists, practitioners, researchers and students, researching and promoting best practice in challenging prejudice and hate.

Targeting Vulnerability: A Fresh Set of Challenges for Hate Crime Scholarship and Policy?

Neil Chakraborti, Department of Criminology, University of Leicester


Hate crime has become an increasingly familiar term in recent times as problems of bigotry and prejudice continue to pose complex challenges for societies across the world. However, despite the greater recognition now afforded to hate crimes and their associated harms by scholars, policy-makers and criminal justice agencies, uncertainty continues to cloud the scope and legitimacy of existing conceptual frameworks.

This paper draws from an emerging body of contemporary hate crime scholarship to address key areas of contestation. In so doing, it questions the language and interpretations which can result in scholars, law enforcers and practitioners becoming side-tracked by factors peripheral to the victimisation in question, and consequently overlooking particular strands of vulnerability and experiences of targeted harassment. The paper explores the implications of recent developments in hate crime scholarship in the context of the recessional climate and cuts to public spending, and calls for a re-evaluation of the way in which hate crime has come to be stringently associated with particular forms of victimisation based upon one-dimensional, though well-intentioned interpretations of ‘difference’.


Dr Neil Chakraborti is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the Department of Criminology, University of Leicester. He has researched and published widely in the fields of ‘otherness’, policing, victimisation and hate crime, and his books include Hate Crime: Concepts, Policy, Future Directions (Willan, 2010), Hate Crime: Impact, Causes and Responses (Sage, 2009, with Jon Garland) and Rural Racism (Willan, 2004, also with Jon Garland).

His most recent research projects include a GB-wide evaluation of public authority responses to targeted violence and harassment, and a review of community engagement strategies used in the policing of faith groups. Neil is a member of the Howard League for Penal Reform’s Research Advisory Group, and is the lead organiser of the Partnership Against Targeted Hate (PATH), a knowledge exchange partnership between the University of Leicester and regional criminal justice organisations.

The OSCE and its Work on Hate Crime

Joanna Perry OSCE


The Office for Democratic and Human Rights, has been mandated by the Participating States of the OSCE to work on issues relating to hate crime for several years. Specifically, and on invitation, ODIHR supports OSCE Participating States to develop hate crime legislation, training for law enforcement, and improve monitoring of hate crime incidents. In pursuit of this aim, a number of guidance documents and annual hate crime reports have been published. This presentation will review the work of ODIHR in the area of hate crime. In particular, some experiences that ODIHR has had in working in the international context will be shared as well as ideas about ways forward in adopting a common approach to monitoring and responding to hate crime across the EU.


Joanna Perry is a Hate Crime Officer at the Officer for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Before this she worked as a equality and diversity policy advisor at the Crown Prosecution Service in the United Kingdom, leading on the coordination of hate crime policy and performance. She was particularly focused on developing the organization?s policy and performance management structures in relation to disability hate crime and led the CPS response to the recently published EHRC Inquiry into disability related harassment. She has published several articles on the topic of hate crime and teaches a regular Master's module on the subject.

She has also worked in the voluntary sector as criminal justice police lead at Victim Support in the UK and with the human rights learning difficulties charity, Values Into Action.

The Philosophy of Hate Crime Symposium Part II 27th September 2011

Criminalizing Hate, Criminalizing Character

Heidi Hurd, University of Illinois, College of Law


In this session I will examine the different justifications that can be teased out of the past 15 years of scholarship on the groundbreaking enactment of hate/bias crime legislation. I will canvass claims that crimes committed out of hatred and prejudice do more harm (or harms of special moral concern) to principal victims, to the communities of which those victims are members, and to our larger society. I will explore arguments that the enactment of hate/bias crime legislation constitutes a crucial means of “sending a message” that contradicts the pernicious messages implicit in crimes motivated by racism, sexism, homophobia, and the like. I will work through reasons to think that hatred and bias are uniquely culpable mental states that make those who are motivated by them more blameworthy for the crimes that they commit. And I will probe the claim that hate/bias crime legislation is an important means of equalizing the distribution of the risk of becoming a crime victim by protecting communities of people who are uniquely vulnerable to crime. As I will suggest, each of these claims rest on premises that are empirically, morally, or conceptually suspect. As such, none, as yet, provide the necessary theoretical legitimacy for this politically popular form of criminal legislation. While little could be more important than breaking down the barriers of bigotry and hatred that inspire ongoing violence within communities and between nations, it is incumbent upon states to restrict their means to those that can be justified by our best theory of criminal legislation. As I will argue, the case remains to be made that hate/bias crime legislation can be so justified.


Heidi M. Hurd is David C. Baum Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Illinois. Co-Director, Program in Law and Philosophy. A scholar in the areas of criminal law, torts, political theory, and general jurisprudence, Heidi M. Hurd served as the College's 11th dean from 2002 through 2007. Before coming to Illinois, Professor Hurd spent most of her career as a professor of law and philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Professor Hurd is the co-director of the College's Program in Law and Philosophy and from 2000-2010 she was the co-editor-in-chief of Law and Philosophy (Kluwer Press). She has a book under contract with Oxford University Press entitled "Debts and the Demands of Conscience" (with Professor Ralph Brubaker); another entitled "Essays in Criminal Law" (with Professor Michael S. Moore); and she is one of 13 co-editors of a philosophically-oriented new casebook in criminal law, entitled ”Criminal Law: Theory and Practice." Professor Hurd is the author of Moral Combat (Cambridge University Press, 1999). She has written dozens of articles in the areas of criminal law, torts, legal philosophy, and political theory have appeared in the nation's top law and philosophy journals, including the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, Michigan Law Review, Legal Theory, Law and Philosophy, Chicago Law Forum, Notre Dame Law Review, Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues, Boston University Law Review, Australian Journal of Legal Philosophy, and Southern California Law Review. In 1999, she provided testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on the proposed Hate Crime Prevention Act of 1999. She regularly teaches criminal law, evidence, torts, and jurisprudence, well as philosophy courses in ethics, environmental philosophy, and political theory.

Hate as an Aggravating Factor in Sentencing (Written with Susan Dimock)

Mohamad Al Hakim, Department of Philosophy, York University


Canada, like many jurisdictions, has formally adopted a provision in its criminal code that treats hatred against an identifiable group as an aggravating factor at sentencing. The provision reads:

Part XXII (Sentencing), section 718.2 of the Canadian Criminal Code A court that imposes a sentence shall also take into consideration the following principles:

(a) a sentence should be increased or reduced to account for any relevant aggravating or mitigating circumstances relating to the offence or the offender, and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, (i) evidence that the offence was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor. . . shall be deemed to be aggravating circumstances. (emphasis added)

Under this provision, a judge has imposed the following sentence: a one year jail term for arson, increased by one-and-a-half years to a two-and-a-half year prison term, because the arson was committed against a Jewish synagogue and motivated by hatred of a group on prohibited grounds [R. v. Sandouga (2002) Alberta Court of Appeal].

We examine the justice of such sentencing provisions. We argue that they violate important principles of legality, most especially fair labelling and proportionality. Proportionality is especially important in Canada’s criminal law system, because it has been held by the Supreme Court to be a requirement of fundamental justice that criminal sanctions be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and culpability of the offender. When offenders have their sentence increased by 150%, there is a real risk that proportionality has been violated.

A plausible defense of the enhanced punishment of those whose crimes are motivated by hatred against an identifiable group would have to establish that such crimes are worse (indeed, much worse if hatred can increase the sentence by 150%) than the same crime committed for other reasons. But is it the gravity of the offense or the culpability of the offender that is greater? It must, after all, be one or the other if the enhanced penalties are to be proportionate. Perhaps we should say that the gravity of the offence that is greater, since the same crime motivated by hatred does much more harm: not just the harms of the underlying offense, but the creation of fear and intimidation among members of the targeted group, social division, etc. In R v. Sandouga, the harm caused by throwing the Molotov cocktail was minor in terms of damage to the synagogue, but the impact on the Jewish community was seriously damaging. And yet it seems that hatred actually addresses the motive of the offender, which seems to fall within the consideration of culpability.

Finally, if hatred or prejudice do refer to the motive for the offense, we also have here another instance of law that defies the textbook claim that motive is irrelevant in criminal law. Although Doug Husak argued persuasively against the claim that motive is irrelevant in criminal law in 1989, the claim persists nonetheless. We hope to put another nail in that coffin.


Mohamad Al-Hakim is currently completing his doctoral studies at the department of philosophy at York University. His main areas of research are multiculturalism, political theory, and legal philosophy. Mr. Al-Hakim earned a BA (Hons) and MA from McMaster University, where he completed a thesis entitled "Liberalism and Minority Rights" which dealt specifically with the issue of faith-based arbitration's potential place in a liberal democracy. His current doctoral dissertation, Uneasy Relations: Liberalism, Minorities and the Significance of Disagreement, continues to explore the relationship between liberalism and minorities rights with special focus on their mediation by the liberal democratic tradition. Mr. Al-Hakim is a current Fellow at the Nathanson Center for transnational security and crimes at Osgoode Hall Law School and is a graduate fellow at McLaughlin College/York University. He has published in Criminal Law and Philosophy, Transnational Legal Theory, Philosophia and has a forthcoming textbook on public sector ethics due out in early 2012. In addition to his core doctoral research, Mr. Al-Hakim is also working on various projects concerning hate crime legislation and the implications such legislation generally creates in constitutional democracies, particularly in light of the principles of fundamental justice.

Two Kinds of Expressive Harm

Antti Kauppinen, Department of Philosophy, Trinity College, Dublin


Antti Kauppinen received his Ph.D. from the University of Helsinki in 2008. From 2007–2009he was a teaching fellow at the University of St. Andrews, and from 2008 also a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests in ethics and political philosophy include philosophical moral psychology, metaethics, well–being, and the foundations of human rights. He is currently working on a monograph on sentimentalism in moral psychology.

Philosophy of Hate Crime - a Conceptual Framework - Morality, Law and Public Policy

David Brax and Christian Munthe, Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg

View the blogpost by Christian Munthe View the blog post by David Brax

Bio - Christian Munthe

Professor of Practical Philosophy and Associate Head of Department for research at the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His research concerns basic and applied ethics, value and policy issues in the intersection of health, the environment, science & technology and society. His most recent publications cover areas such as the ethics of person centred care, forensic psychiatric research ethics, the use of risk assessment methods in the criminal legal system and two forthcoming books on the ethical basis of the precautionary principle and the ethics of screening in health care and medicine (both on Springer).

Bio - David Brax

PhD, lecturer and researcher at the Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science, University of Gothenburg Prior to his PhD, David pursued advanced studies in Practical and Theoretical Philosophy and Cognitive Science, Lund University. He got his PhD in 2009 with the dissertation "Hedonism as the Explanation of Value". The dissertation developed a meta-ethical theory based on a naturalistic, explanatory framework, and incorporated evidence from the cognitive and affective sciences. It also offered a novel theory of pleasure, understanding pleasures as "internally liked experiences", i.e experiences partly constituted by the feeling of liking that experience.

Main academic interests: Moral theory, meta-ethics, philosophy of mind, moral psychology, emotion theory, empirical philosophy and legal philosophy Research Associate at the philosophical end of the project. He works mainly with conceptual and moral aspects of Hate Crime and Hate Crime Legislation: How should "hate crime" be defined? What are its distinguishing features? What is wrong with hate crimes? How can hate crime legislation be justified? How should we understand responsibility in this domain?

Hate Crime Symposium, Strasbourg


Kim McGuire:

Christian Munthe:

David Brax:

Michael Fingerle:

Caroline Bonnes:

"Whether you're a victim or witness, the Self Evident app is the smart way to report hate crime and send evidence to the police"

Reports sent via the app are now handled centrally at Police HQs in Bedfordshire, Cheshire, Cumbria, Dyfed-Powys, Essex, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Merseyside, Metropolitan Police (London), Greater Manchester, Norfolk, Northumbria, North Wales, North Yorkshire, South Wales, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Sussex, Thames Valley (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire), Warwickshire and West Mercia (Herefordshire, Shropshire & Worcestershire). In the remaining areas of England & Wales, reports are sent automatically via the local police team.

Inclusion Scotland held an important event at which Gillian Forrester from Strathclyde Police’s Diversity Unit, acknowledged that Hate Crime remains significantly under-reported. The Unit had been involved in developing training; a Hate Crime tool-kit for officers and staff; an on-line reporting facility and Third Party Reporting Centres which can be contacted by disabled people who are worried about reactions and repercussions if they report incidents directly to the police.

It was imperative that the message gets out that the law has been changed so that Hate Crime, that is any assault or intimidating behaviour motivated by malice or ill-will against disabled people and other protected groups now carries tougher penalties.

Participants heard about the work that Inclusion Scotland is doing in partnership with others to raise awareness of Disability Hate Crime, tackle disability discrimination and influence policy at local and national level.

Paul Halloran of the National Union of Journalists insisted that as well as representing individual union members, his organisation had a responsibility for promoting good standards of journalism.

Paul said they had already had some success in addressing negative and stereotypical reporting of refugees and asylum seekers. They have also produced guidelines on positive reporting of mental health.

Paul urged all present to contact the NUJ for support in pursuing complaints against irresponsible and discriminatory reporting about and representations of disabled people in the media. To contact the NUJ with stories which are inaccurate or demeaning relating to disability email: