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Thread: Offensive Behaviour at Football Act Set to Be Abolished

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    Senior Member Englisc's Avatar
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    Offensive Behaviour at Football Act Set to Be Abolished

    THE controversial law aimed at stamping out sectarianism around football games is set to be abolished, after every opposition party yesterday backed its repeal.

    The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act 2012 (OBFA) now looks likely to be an early casualty of the SNP losing its overall majority at Holyrood.

    Keen to flex their muscles as the main opposition, the Conservatives said they would ensure parliamentary time was dedicated to the issue in coming weeks and would back legislation to scrap the “unfair and unworkable” law.

    Labour MSP James Kelly, who announced plans for a Member’s Bill to repeal the OBFA in January, confirmed he would move to secure the Act’s removal from the statute book.

    The LibDems and Greens, who stood on manifestos backing repeal, supported the plans.

    It leaves the SNP out-numbered 65-63 on the issue at Holyrood.

    Some SNP MSPs are also sceptical of the law, including Richard Lyle, who last year said it was “too wide sweeping in approach and doesn’t work in practice as well as it should or could”.

    The OBFA was created after a spate of violent incidents in the 2010-11 football season, including 35 arrests and a clash between club managers at an Old Firm game.

    Celtic manager Neil Lennon was targeted with parcel bombs and live bullets in the mail, and lunged at by a Hearts fan at Tynecastle.

    The SNP rapidly pushed the OBFA through parliament, creating new offences around inciting religious hatred and offensive chanting associated with football.
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/1...ed/?ref=twtrec

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    The law was primarily aimed at jailing Rangers fans for singing "Billy Boys", while offensive displays and banners emanating from Celtic's "Green Brigade" ultras were excused and ignored on a weekly basis.

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    Senior Member SaxonCeorl's Avatar
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    I wish governments would use the more general laws they already have instead of trying to come up with new ones tailored to specific issues. The more general approach is especially workable in common law legal systems like the UK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaxonCeorl View Post
    I wish governments would use the more general laws they already have instead of trying to come up with new ones tailored to specific issues. The more general approach is especially workable in common law legal systems like the UK.
    Scotland doesn't have a pure 'common law' system, the Scottish Legal System is a mixture between English Common Law and Continental Civil Law and thus has all types of quirks.

    I do agree though that in this case, there was no reason for new legislature. The Scottish courts already have an offence called "Breach of the Peace" at their disposal, which is a nearly limitless method of social control already, and which has actually been used before (I recall a 1982 case!) to try and condemn nasty behaviour at Old Firm games.
    -In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
    -Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
    -Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

    (Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)

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