So, I was reading through the draft Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill, which seems to be really broad in its attempts to crack down on sectarianism. I tried to think back to my legislation honours classes at law school and I came up with the following questions.
Would these things count as an offence under the new Bill?
- At a football match, there is a minute’s silence for a former player who recently died. Billy’s phone goes off during the minute’s silence and he answers it, going on to conduct a conversation with the caller in a loud voice.
- Mark and Stuart are driving to London to see a Scottish club play an important game of football against a London club. They have reached the M6 motorway, when to pass the time Mark tells an off-colour joke concerning the circumstances of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
- Tina has never been to a football match in her life. She has no interest in the game. She is however, a fan of cartoon strips. She sends an e-mail to her friend Sven which includes the following “Hagar the Horrible” cartoon strip. She thinks, correctly, that he will get the joke.