Labour Research May 2002



The hate debate

Should hate be punished as a crime?

Edited by Paul Iganski, Profile Books and the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, 144 pages, paperback, £9.99

This book brings together a collection of essays by academics, journalists and campaigners looking at the arguments surrounding laws on hate crime. These include the idea that certain crimes, such as racially motivated offences, should be punished more harshly than similar offences with different motivations.

Some commentators, like former Guardian journalist Melanie Phillips, attack hate crime laws as an "Orwellian response to prejudice", and others argue that the "criminal law is a blunt instrument for changing social attitudes."