Creating hate crime legislation “raises numerous potentially contentious issues”, Senators of the College of Justice have said.
In a response to a consultation on proposed hate crime legislation, judges said many of the issues are matters for the legislature.
They add: “Traditionally, and for good reason, the judges do not comment on such matters, either individually or collectively. In due course they may be required to adjudicate on cases arising under the old provisions or under any new legislation, including matters of statutory interpretation. They require to reach decisions in an independent and impartial way. The ability to do this, or be seen to do this, could be compromised by opinions expressed in response to papers of the present kind.”