Commenting after the Stage 2 debate on the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:
"This legislation needs to include a robust protection of freedom of speech, that provides clarity about what is being criminalised while avoiding targeting or marginalising groups. My preference was to establish a clear ‘catch all’ freedom of expression provision and I'm pleased members of the Justice Committee recognised that this could bring fairness and equality.
“Stage 2 amounted to an impasse. This leaves a lot to be decided at the final parliamentary hurdle. It means there is only one chance remaining to get this legislation right. It is essential to now have open, inclusive and measured discussions ahead of Stage 3."