The Life Cycle of a Hate Crime – Comparative Report presents, in detail, the final report which analyses the findings of in-depth primary and secondary research conducted over two years tracing the Lifecycle of a Hate Crime in selected EU Member States. The research was undertaken in five jurisdictions within the EU – the Czech Republic, England and Wales, Ireland, Latvia, and Sweden in which contrasting approaches to addressing hate crime are evident.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the adoption by the EU Council of the Framework Decision on Combatting Certain Forms and Expressions of Racism and Xenophobia (2008/913/JHA). Article 4 of the Framework Decision provides that for offences other than incitement to violence or hatred, “Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that racist and xenophobic motivation is considered an aggravating circumstance, or, alternatively that such motivation may be taken into consideration by the courts in the determination of the penalties”.
In some of the jurisdictions examined, the national legislative framework underpinning hate crime may be considered robust. In others, laws are more limited. Less clear is the practical application of these laws, of how and in what manner crimes with a hate or bias element come to be prosecuted, and whether and why they may be overlooked or downgraded to generic offences.
To provide greater understanding of the operational realities of the treatment of hate crime in the criminal justice process researchers gathered experiential accounts of these laws “in action” from criminal justice professionals including lawyers and judges. Research teams also sought to investigate and document both victims’ and offenders’ experiences of the criminal justice system in respect to hate crime. In doing so, the research aims to provide a more holistic understanding of the “lifecycle” of a hate crime, from reporting to prosecution to sentencing, in order to identify gaps and good practices in the application of laws. The findings set out here shed new light on measures to combat hate crime for a wide range of stakeholders, including police, policy makers, lawyers, judges, victim support services, and civil society organisations working with victims and offenders.
This report presents a comparative analysis of the findings from the research in each of the five jurisdictions as set out in the jurisdictional reports for the Czech Republic, England and Wales, Ireland, Latvia and Sweden. In jurisdictions where this was deemed appropriate, reports were accompanied by the production of practical information for judges and prosecutors to guide and inform them on matters which should be considered in the prosecution and punishment of hate crime.
The Lifecycle of a Hate Crime Research Consortium comprises the following organisations:
– Hate and Hostility Research Group, University of Limerick (Ireland)
– IN IUSTITIA (Czech Republic)
– Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)
– Latvian Centre for Human Rights
– Umeå University (Sweden)
– University of Sussex (United Kingdom)
Please find the national reports here: https://www.iccl.ie/hate-crime/country-reports/
Please find some guides for implementation of best practice here: https://www.iccl.ie/hate-crime/guides-implementation/
The Lifecycle of a Hate Crime Project is financially supported by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme of the European Union.