Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Scotland


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Scotland

6 May 2024

Scotland is facing an unfortunate new reality after its "Hate Crime and Public Order Act" went into effect on April 1. The new law promised to "tackle the harm caused by hatred and prejudice," but as with all hate speech laws, even if well intentioned, the inevitable result is both the subjective suppression of disfavored speech and significant collateral damage -- even to those the bill is meant to protect. Thankfully, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has solemnly sworn that she is up to no good. As the law went into effect, Rowling made a now- viral series of posts on X that took direct aim at the vague, speech- restricting law. The new act makes it a crime to act or speak in a way that is threatening or abusive with the intent to "stir up hatred" on account of a person or group's age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Other portions of the law make it illegal to act or speak in a way that is "likely" to stir up hatred on the basis of race, skin color, nationality, or ethnicity.


David Inserra

Published in
United States of America