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.