Page last updated at 17:27 GMT, Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Scottish Parliament

Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie was the only oppositon member to see an amendment agreed to as the Scottish Parliament considered and voted on amendments related to the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Bill at stage 3, on Wednesday 14 December 2011.

The new legislation aims to tackle religious hatred and bigotry related to football.

Beginning the proceedings, Scottish Conservative justice spokesperson David McLetchie brought forward amendments which defined specific terrorist groups and the addition of aggravation.

Mr McLetchie said it was not good enough to throw in "a catch all clause" on the face of the bill and leave the definition of the behaviour on what is to be prosecuted to "mere guidleines."

He continued "what we have is a half and half approach" to the problems "which satisfies no-one" and is "formed out of a willingness to grasp the sectarian nettle" and "parliament can and must do better."

His amendments were not agreed to.

The government also brought amendments forward, including the ability to change the legislation in response to changes to European legislation and a change to where the law applies outside Scotland.

Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Roseanna Cunningham told the chamber, after discussion with the UK government, she was putting forward an amendment so that the bill referred to those "habitually resident in Scotland."

All of the minister's amendments were agreed to.

Introducing his amendments, Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie said the flaws of the legislation which he described as a "hate crime bill" ran "very very deep."

He highlighted the bill contained "incitement to hatred", something he said previously the parliament had decided, with cross-party agreement, not to legislate on.

Mr Harvie's amendments 8 and 9 referred to requiring the government to consult publicly if ministers wished to change the law after it had come in to force, but MSPs voted them down.

However, Mr Harvie's final amendment 10 which required the government, when it came to report to parliament on the progress of the legislation, to consult publicly, was passed.

Later the parliament debated the bill and voted to pass the new legislation. This can be viewed below:

Scottish Parliament


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