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Lifecycle of a Hate Crime

The Lifecycle of a Hate Crime project sought to understand and explore the Lifecycle of a Hate Crime across five jurisdictions of the European Union and had as its central aim the examination of the manner in which a hate crime is addressed through the criminal justice process at various stages – investigation, prosecution, court proceedings, and sentencing – to determine how best to ensure that the hate element of a crime is appropriately treated by the court. The objectives of the research across all five jurisdictions were to:

  •  Detail the operational realities of hate crime legislation by gathering experiential accounts of the legislation “in action” from legal professionals;
  •  Document differences in both victims’ and offenders’ experiences of the criminal justice process according to the legislative and policy context; 
  •  Identify shortfalls in the legislative responses to Article 4 of the Frame work Decision on Racism and Xenophobia; and 
  •  Inform future EU policy and legislative responses to hate crime.

The timeframe under consideration for the project was 2011-2016. In furtherance of the first three of these objectives, project partners were tasked with completing a doctrinal analysis of hate crime in each jurisdiction; exploring policies pertaining to policing and prosecutorial functions in relation to hate crime; performing a secondary analysis of statistics on the recording, prosecution and sentencing of hate crime; and conducting interviews with victims, convicted offenders, judges, prosecutors and defence lawyers. This latter element sought to determine the operational realities of the manner in which a hate crime is addressed through the legal processes across the jurisdictions party to this research.

The Lifecycle of a Hate Crime Research Consortium comprises the following organisations:

  •  Hate and Hostility Research Group, University of Limerick (Ireland)
  •  IN IUSTITIA (Czech Republic)
  •  Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)
  •  Latvian Centre for Human Rights
  •  Umeå University (Sweden)
  •  University of Sussex (United Kingdom)

Each partner produced a detailed report on their findings as they related to their own jurisdiction.