Phenomenological Reviews

Series | Book | Chapter


Legal definitions and a short case study

Michael Salter Kim McGuire

pp. 37-51


This chapter engages with legal definitions of hate crime, and their subjective interpretations in both formal and wider contexts. Since the types of activity that we are primarily concerned with amount to criminal offences and are dealt with by various key agencies in terms of its specific legal meaning, we cannot ignore how legislation defines hate crime and hate speech. Nor can we ignore how such official formal definitions are subject to rival interpretations and both selective and discretionary enforcement. By setting out formal legal definitions and juxtaposing these with a case study of a perceived offence on a railway station, twin elements of our phenomenology of hate crime will begin to emerge. In particular, the descriptions provided by our intuitively rich experiential case study raise a series of issues that our later chapters tackle in a more concerted fashion. We argue that these two sections counter-balance each other's tendency towards offering only a one-sided impression of this topic.

Publication details

Published in:

Salter Michael, McGuire Kim (2020) The lived experience of hate crime: towards a phenomenological approach. Dordrecht, Springer.

Pages: 37-51

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-33888-6_2

Full citation:

Salter Michael, McGuire Kim (2020) Legal definitions and a short case study, In: The lived experience of hate crime, Dordrecht, Springer, 37–51.