Westminster Legal Policy Forum

The future for hate crime laws in England and Wales - the Law Commission’s consultation, prosecution and enforcement of laws and next steps for policymakers

Morning, Thursday, 12th March 2020

Central London


This conference will examine key issues around hate crime laws in England and Wales.

Areas for discussion include scope, enforcement, and the impact on free speech.

It will bring together key stakeholders with policymakers to consider the issues at the time that the Law Commission is due to conduct its consultation on the adequacy of protection offered by hate crime legislation and deliberate on potential extensions of protected characteristics.

The seminar follows the most recent Home Office data on recorded hate crime incidence, which showed a 10% year-on-year rise overall, with specific surges in the number of incidents relating to disability, sexual orientation, and anti-Semitism.

There will be keynote contributions from Chris Long, Chief Crown Prosecutor, and Hate Crime Champion, Crown Prosecution Service and a senior speaker confirmed from the Law Commission.

The agenda

  • The Law Commission’s consultation on hate crime legislation;
  • Hate crime policy: an international perspective;
  • Protected characteristics in law - assessing the current position, treatment of ‘aggravated offences’, and options for extending legislation;
  • Prosecution of hate crime - improving conviction rates, evidence gathering, and alternative approaches to sentencing;
  • Next steps for the enforcement and prevention - victim support, improving awareness and educational priorities;
  • Impact of the Law Commission’s review of the judiciary and potential reforms to the Criminal Justice Act 2003; and
  • Hate Crime policy moving forward - options for reform following the review.

Keynote Speakers

Senior speaker confirmed from the Law Commission

Chris Long

Chief Crown Prosecutor and Hate Crime Champion, Crown Prosecution Service


Lucy Jaffe

Director, Why me? Victims for Restorative Justice

Professor Neil Chakraborti

Head of School and Professor, Criminology, School of Criminology, University of Leicester