Campaigners for women’s rights have criticised Law Commission for refusing to declare misogyny hate crime. 

The independent body, which recommends legal changes, argued the move would create ‘hierarchies of victims’ and make rape and domestic abuse prosecutions more difficult. 

Instead it recommended that ministers increase the’stirring of hatred’ provision under the Public Order Act 1986, to include doing so on grounds of sex or gender. It also suggested that a public offense of sexual harassment be made.

Women's rights campaigners including Labour MP Stella Creasy were frustrated at the Law Commission's recommendation that misogyny should not be made a hate crime

The Law Commission recommended that misogyny not be considered a hate crime. This was a disappointment for women’s rights activists, including Stella Creasy, Labour MP 

But a statement by 20 women’s rights organisations and campaigners including Labour MP Stella Creasy and former Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Sue Fish, accused the commission of falling short. 

According to them, the “Commission’s Review is Too Strict” and does not recognize the need for misogyny in order to record incidents that are invisible currently. 

“By not combining hate crime legislation, it ignores women of minority communities’ experiences with hatred. They experience multiple causes and are all too often left out by the criminal justice systems because they don’t meet their criteria.

The government must refrain from using this report to delay action on violence against girls and women. It should instead support legislative proposals, which include urgently extending the recording of misogynist criminals to all law enforcement agencies. 

For women who are victims of violence, we need to call on the government to ban incel ideology 

David Barrett, Daily Mail Home Affairs Correspondent  

According to the report, hate crimes laws must be expanded in order to protect women who are extreme misogynists.

Law Commission highlighted “several acts extremist violence” inspired by the “involuntary celibate” or the “incel” ideology.

Its report stated that “In order to address the increasing threat from ‘incel ideology’ and the potential for it to lead to serious criminal offences, we recommend creating an offense of stirring up hatred based on sex or gender.”

It would not be applicable to behavior that is’merely offensive’, but that which ‘clearly encourages hatred and violence.

“We are talking about threatening and abusive materials that incite and glorify violence against women and girls. We also praise men who kill women.”

This was referring to Jake Davison (22), who killed five people in Plymouth last August. A series of online hateful rants he posted were inspired by the “incel” movement. This group espouses violence towards women who are unable to have sexual relationships.

“Women and boys have waited too much to be equal protected, and we will fight to protect them.”

The commission said prosecuting people who stir up hostility on the basis of sex or gender would combat the ‘growing threat’ of extreme misogyny. 

The so-called incel’ culture, which is found in an “overwhelmingly male online group” that thinks society is defined by physical appearance, could be a catalyst for serious criminal offences.

The Government’s report of 550 pages contains 34 recommendations. It also makes passing references to Jake Davison’s case. He was accused of having’sought Out Incel material’ and uploaded videos on the internet expressing Incel sentiments.

The Government was also asked to review the necessity of a particular offence for public sexual harassment. 

Another recommendation is to reform hate crime legislation so that victims of LGBT+ and disabled victims are protected the same as those with other protected characteristics such as religion, race or gender.

Law Commission spokesperson Professor Penney Lewis stated that hate crime can have a devastating impact on victims, and it is unacceptable that current protection levels are inconsistent.

“Our recommendations would increase protections for victims, while also guaranteeing that freedom of expression and speech is protected.”

Because there’s an extra ‘hostility,’ hate crimes are commonly used in England and Wales.

Following the murder of Stephen Lawrence (black teenager) in 1993, hate crimes laws were created. Since then, they have been extended to encompass religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and even transgender identities.

Free speech activists raised the alarm by arguing that the expansion of hate crimes laws will make people afraid to voice their opinions. 

According to Government advisers, legal reform should provide special protection against prosecutions for people who hold ‘gender critical views’. For example, feminists may doubt that men can have sex with women.

Former Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Sue Fish was also a signatory to the statement

Sue Fish, former Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, was also signed the statement. 

However, critics noted that the push towards more proscriptive hate crimes laws is damaging to freedom of speech. One even suggested the proposal could lead to a form state fascism.

Accordingly, some transgender offences could be subject to longer prison terms than others.

Exaggerated views of the dinner table will NOT be prosecuted 

David Barrett 

All proposals that would have made hate speech illegal at the dinner tables were dropped.

A law commission had intended to eliminate an exemption from hate speech laws which applies to opinions expressed within a dwelling.

The consultation paper that was published in 2013 suggested the scrapping of the ‘poorly target’ exemption. Public meetings could be held at a residence and private conversations could be conducted outside.

But after an outcry – highlighted in the Mail last November – the commission has U-turned in its final proposals published today. This paper stated that the exception was not well targeted. The exception, for example, would cover a public meeting held in private houses, but it wouldn’t protect private conversations in private cars or vacation accommodation.

It was suggested instead that an exception be made for “private conversations” to replace the exclusion. 

The paper stated that removing the dwelling exception from the law would leave no room for protection against hate and incitement to violence or illegality. It also wouldn’t strike the right balance of the need to respect a person’s home, private and familial life. 

After repeated threats against Harry Potter author JKRling, it comes after she expressed concern that trans activists are threatening women’s human rights.

In October, Kathleen Stock, a philosopher at Sussex University was resigned after she was accused of transphobia.

Dr David Green is the chief executive officer of Civitas. He stated: “The Law Commission’s proposals will not do anything to protect Kathleen Stock, or JK Rowling.

“The law should let people know if they are going to be detained or not in a free society.” In more and more cases, people are unable to know for certain. This is causing people to be afraid of speaking out.

“The law is not meant to be in the realms of opinion unless it incites violence. Fair Cop’s Harry Miller was an activist in free speech and pressure groups. He was retweeting an apparently transphobic phrase and was later arrested by the police.

“The Law Commission stated that views that are gender-critical should not be considered. However, this is a wrong approach. It is not necessary to be granted permission for criticism of an ideology. It should be assumed that such permission is granted. According to the Law Commission, its recommendations “would not criminalize ‘offensive comments’ nor penalise people who tell sexist jokes.”

The review stated that “They” (the changes proposed) wouldn’t stop people from discussing the differences or opining on whether women are suitable for religious or secular authority positions.

“What we mean is abusive or threatening material that incites violence against women and girls and encourages them to commit crimes.

This suggested that the government should consider whether an ‘exclusive public sexual harassment ofence’, instead of a hate crime offense, could be established.

The statement stated that the current offences for harassment and abuse of women in public places are heavily focused on abusive and threatening words and disorderly behavior.

“An offence that addresses public sexual harassment could be written in a way to better reflect the degrading, sexualized nature of the conduct that occurs frequently in both online and offline environments.”