Published on Tuesday 30th April, 2013 by Celtic Trust
John gives his extended reflections on the discussions of that day
I discuss the parts of the meeting that interested me the most and I offer some reflective comments:
- We were told in unequivocal terms that the Bill is about tackling ‘sectarianism’. FAC members argued that existing legislation already deals with ‘sectarianism’ and that the first part of this Bill (the non-communication part) was therefore unnecessary if ‘sectarianism’ was the target. For example, the 2003 Criminal Justice Act (section 74) states an offence has occurred if it was “aggravated by religious prejudice” and this is defined in the 2003 Act as being “ill-will based on the victim’s membership (or presumed membership) of a religious group, or of a social or cultural group with a perceived religious affiliation”. Why introduce a new Bill to target sectarianism when the 2003 Act deals with it already? There have been plenty of examples where ill-will based on membership or presumed membership of a religious group have occurred and could have been dealt with under existing legislation. A new law was not required – just implement the existing one properly!
Please go to Celtic Trust site to read the full article. http://www.celtictrust.net/?func=d_home_article&id=423
Also catch Jeanette Findlay giving an update on Home Bhoys radio last night