Look before you leap: Hate crime legislation reconsidered

  • Bill Dixon University in the UK.
  • David Gadd University of Manchester
Keywords: hate crime, sentencing, legislation, race, South Africa


In this response to Duncan Breen and Juan Nel’s article on the need for legislation to enhance the sentences imposed on those convicted of hate crime, we draw on the international literature and our own research on racially motivated offending to argue that South Africa ought to adopt a more circumspect approach than the UK and the USA if it wishes to deal effectively with this kind of offending. We also warn that hate crime law brings with it some significant and undesirable unintended consequences for those it is meant to protect.

Author Biographies

Bill Dixon, University in the UK.

School of Sociology and Criminology 

David Gadd, University of Manchester
Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice
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Research articles