Improving the effectiveness of the current Hate Crime Legislation in Northern Ireland

Closed 28 Mar 2022

Opened 31 Jan 2022


The Minister of Justice is committed to ensuring effective and appropriate legislation in the criminal justice system to tackle hate crime.  Hate crimes, which are committed against an individual based on a personal attribute or group identity, are known to have a pronounced impact on victims.  The ramifications can extend beyond the direct victim, by signalling that members of certain groups are not acceptable or not worthy of equal respect.  Hate crime legislation can respond to negative conduct by providing the opportunity for redress to victims, ensuring a sentence that reflects the harm caused and supporting law enforcement agencies in the operation of hate crime policies.

In response to the Department of Justice commissioning an independent review of hate crime legislation in 2019, Judge Marrinan published his Final Report from his Review of Hate Crime Legislation in Northern Ireland in December 2020.  The Departmental Response to the Hate Crime Legislation Review (HCLR), published in July 2021, sets out the Minister of Justice’s initial position against each of the 34 recommendations in the Review Report.

The Department has noted, in its Departmental Response, those recommendations as ‘accepted’ by the Minister of Justice (detailed in Chapter 4).  Following a comprehensive public consultation by Judge Marrinan, these issues are not therefore considered as requiring further public consultation.  To avoid duplication or repetition of Judge Marrinan’s consultation, the Department will therefore be carrying out further public consultation on those recommendations noted in the Departmental Response as requiring further consideration and which are considered part of a future Hate Crime Bill.

Why your views matter

We want to hear your views on the Department’s proposals in response to those recommendations noted for further consideration and aimed at ensuring effective and appropriate hate crime legislation.

We recommend that you read the Consultation and Call for Views before answering the following questions. 

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  • Prospective higher education students
  • All stakeholders
  • Citizens
  • Business
  • Voluntary and Community Sector


  • Community safety
  • Criminal justice