JK Rowling's comments about new hate crime laws are 'not criminal' and she will face no further action

JK Rowling's comments about new hate crime laws are 'not criminal' and she will face no further action

'You can't stop hate! It's a necessary emotion' Bev Turner defends freedom of speech

GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 02/04/2024

- 16:36

Updated: 02/04/2024

- 17:44

The Harry Potter author had gained support from PM Rishi Sunak

JK Rowling will not be facing further action over her tweets criticising the new Scottish hate crime laws.

The Harry Potter author had issued a dare to police to arrest her on social media relating to the legislation that came into force in Scotland.

Now, a spokesperson from Scottish police said her comments "are not assessed to be criminal".

The author has received backlash from members of the LGBT+ community over alleged gender critical comments.

JK Rowling

JK Rowling will not face further action


Rowling, who said she was out the country, said if her posts were an offence under the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act – which came into force on Monday – she would “look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment”.

She said that “freedom of speech and belief are at an end in Scotland if the accurate description of biological sex is deemed criminal”.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "We have received complaints in relation to the social media post.

"The comments are not assessed to be criminal and no further action will be taken."


JK Rowling

JK Rowling posted the dare on X


Reacting to today's news, Rowling wrote on X: "I hope every woman in Scotland who wishes to speak up for the reality and importance of biological sex will be reassured by this announcement, and I trust that all women - irrespective of profile or financial means - will be treated equally under the law."

Earlier today Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would not be drawn on whether he supported her approach, saying that it was "not right for me to comment on police matters, individual matters".

But he added: "We should not be criminalising people saying common sense things about biological sex, clearly that isn’t right. We have a proud tradition of free speech."

First Minister Humza Yousaf said the law was designed to deal with what he called a "rising tide of hatred" in society.

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021, which went into effect Monday, April 1, aims to consolidate existing hate crime laws in Scotland.

Proponents of the bill says it stirs up hatred against people based on protected characteristics like age, disability, religion, sexual orientation and trans identity.

However, the law has been criticised as it does not include sex in the list of protected characteristics and there have been concerns about freedom of speech.

The Scottish government has said that it will bring forward a law targeting misogynistic abuse.

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