We provided an update earlier on the progress towards a repeal of the OBFA. A middle aged dad who goes to games and comes back again, I am largely unaffected by this legislation however the very concept that football fans are for the watching is what infuriates me. Despite its billing in the press, this is not anti sectarian legislation – we have that. This is not anti-discrimination legislation – we have that too. This is just very bad legislation that doesn’t work.
The singing it was designed to get rid of had virtually disappeared from our game. It has come back since this legislation began and over the 5 years of the law being in place we have had numerous charges that have failed in court due to the awful wording of the legislation. We have had police being sent on training programmes to find out what they are offended by. Bonkers!
The consultation last year for a bill to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act has generated the most unique responses in Holyrood’s history, with 3,248 submissions from individuals, football clubs, supporters’ groups and campaigning organisations. The results showed a clear majority of respondents were in favour of repealing this controversial act.
The proposal has now been lodged and is being looked at by the Justice Committee of the Scottish Parliament. The Committee has issued a call for evidence, which is due to close on Friday 18th August at 5pm. I would therefore urge all to submit a response to the Justice Committee, in order to help scrap this damaging piece of legislation.
If you are hesitating and believe that without the legislation we would have a gap in the law you can review Crime and Disorder Act 1998 section 33 and section 96 (inserted by Criminal Law Consolidation (Scotland) Act 1995.
To submit your response, scroll to the template at the bottom of the following webpage, complete the short document, and send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit this page for the template: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/105570.aspx.