The Justice Minister has outlined how new hate crime legislation will be enforced.
It's understood two tests will be required when deciding whether something falls under the offence or not.
The planned legislation will introduce aggravated forms of existing crimes with harsher penalties. It will include offences committed against someone because of their race, colour, nationality, religion, gender, disability, or sexual orientation.
There will be two tests for whether something is a hate crime. One is a motivation test, trying to establish what was going through someone's mind at the moment they committed the crime.
The new provision is called a 'demonstration test'. This is whether they demonstrated hatred when committing the crime, with evidence potentially including the use of hostile or prejudiced slurs, gestures, other symbols or graffiti at the time of offending.
It's being added to the bill as the Minister thought simply trying to get inside a perpetrator's mind as proof would be difficult and lead to some cases not being prosecuted.
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