Hate crime based on disability in South Africa: Lessons for law reform
When contemplating whether to introduce disability hate crime as a new substantive offence or as a penalty enhancement of existing crimes, legislators should consider the peculiarities of reporting, investigating and prosecuting hate crimes perpetrated against disabled people. This article argues that existing laws on sexual offences, domestic violence, harassment, and unfair discrimination should be strengthened, and research should be conducted to identify the appropriate initiatives to prevent and attend to disability hate crime by and with persons with disabilities. Creating a substantive hate crime based on disability has symbolic value, but should only be considered if the existing challenges to full and meaningful participation by persons with disabilities in investigative and court proceedings are addressed through appropriate procedural accommodations.
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