Nigel Farage criticises Priti Patel over migrant vessels
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SNP minister Keith Brown said a new standalone offence would “send a very important message” that sexist “behaviours are not acceptable in society for men”. Offences are aggravated by prejudice against race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender status at present.
Labour peer and barrister Baroness Kennedy is currently reviewing misogyny in Scotland.
Her review is expected to recommend a definition of misogyny that could be written into law, and could lead to the creation of a new offence designed to criminalise prejudice against women and girls.
Citing her work, Mr Brown told BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show “a standalone misogyny charge… would be one way of giving a very important signal that these kinds of behaviours are not acceptable in society for men”.
He added: “We’ll wait to see what Helena Kennedy comes back with. I’ve had a number of conversations along with my colleagues with Helena Kennedy.
“Her work is progressing very well and it may well be that we end up depending on her recommendations with a standalone offence of misogyny.
“There are too many women feel that the justice system doesn’t serve them well in very important respects and this will be one in one instance where it can do that by sending a very important message.”
As part of her remit, Baroness Kennedy is also examining whether women should be specifically protected by the SNP’s hate crime law.
The omission of women as a protected group caused controversy last year, particularly as transgender people, defined to include “cross dressers”, were included.
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The row was part of a wider debate, which has engulfed the SNP, over transgender rights and whether people should be able to self-declare their gender.
Lady Kennedy’s group will examine “whether there are gaps in the law that could be addressed by a specific criminal offence” to tackle misogyny.
Part of its remit is to examine evidence of the experiences of women and girls “applying a gendered analytical lens”.
The QC has said she was tired of hearing police forces say they will “learn lessons” in the wake of a tragedy.
She warned that “institutions often will put their own reputations first”.
She also blasted the Met Police for its failure to deal with Wayne Couzens, who was jailed last week for the murder of Ms Everard.
The 33-year-old marketing executive was handcuffed and snatched off the street by police officer Couzens as she walked home.
He then drove her 80 miles, before raping and murdering her.
Couzens was handed a rare whole-life jail term, meaning he will die in prison.
Baroness Kennedy said Couzens, who was a Met officer at the time he falsely arrested Ms Everard, had “sent out alarm signals to colleagues” and was on “inquiry lists in relation to flashing behaviour”.
Meanwhile, asked about the prospects of special courts to tackle a backlog of sexual offences Mr Brown said: “I can’t just do that, that has to be through legislation, and if you’re going to legislate you have to consult.
“There are different views, both within them between different political parties.
“So what I think is really important to do is try and get as much of a consensus as possible on what is going to be effective, what’s going to work.”
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