Fans Against Criminalisation welcome the evidence today submitted to the Justice Committee by the Scottish Human Rights Commission regarding the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012. The SHRC is the national human rights institution for Scotland. It was established by an Act of the Scottish Parliament and began its work in 2008.
The evidence presented clearly casts significant doubt on the prospect of the Offensive Behaviour Act being in compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights. Specifically, it is potentially in breach of Article 5 (deprivation of liberty), Article 7 (no punishment without law) and Article 10 (freedom of expression). We would like to support their call for the Justice Committee to evaluate this in full.
It is clear that the credibility of this legislation simply cannot recover, and whilst such serious doubts are cast regarding the legality of it, we believe that steps should be taken to suspend criminal proceedings against fans charged under it as a matter of urgency.