Anti-hate crime law protesters rally at Scottish Parliament as JK Rowling invites police to arrest her

Protesters rallied outside the Scottish Parliament on Monday, 1 April, as the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act came into effect.

The act consolidates existing hate crime legislation and creates a new offence of stirring up hatred against protected characteristics.

Women have not been given protection under the law; the Scottish Government says separate laws will tackle misogyny.

JK Rowling, a prominent critic of the Scottish Government’s stance on transgender rights and the legislation, appeared to challenge police to arrest her if her social media posts break new laws.

"If what I’ve written here qualifies as an offence... I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment,” Ms Rowling said.