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Criminal law and the routine activity of 'hate crime'

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Liverpool Law Review
Issue number1
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)1-17
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


If our knowledge about so called ‘hate crime’ was confined to what we read in the national newspapers or see on the television news then the impression that we would be most likely left with is that hate crime offenders are out-and-out bigots, hate-fuelled individuals who subscribe to racist, homophobic, and other bigoted views who, in exercising their extreme hatred target their victims in premeditated violent attacks. Whilst many such attacks have occurred, the data on incidents, albeit limited, suggests instead that they are commonly committed by ‘ordinary’ people in the context of their ‘everyday’ lives. Considering the everyday circumstances in which incidents occur, this paper argues that by imposing penalty enhancement for ‘hate crime’ the criminal law assumes a significant symbolic role as a cue against transgression on the part of potential offenders.