Police confirm that J.K. Rowling will not be prosecuted after social media comments

J.K. Rowling will not be prosecuted after social media comments
J.K. Rowling will not be prosecuted after social media comments Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By David Mouriquand
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J.K. Rowling's comments about Scotland’s new hate crime laws "are not assessed to be criminal", police have said, confirming that no further action would be taken.


After news that J.K. Rowling was daring the police to arrest her, authorities have said that the Harry Potter author did not break the law with tweets criticizing Scotland’s new hate speech law and referring to transgender women as men.

Reacting to the news, Rowling posted on X: "I hope every woman in Scotland who wishes to speak up for the reality and importance of biological sex will be reassured by this announcement, and I trust that all women - irrespective of profile or financial means - will be treated equally under the law.”

Rowling opposes the law, which came into force on Monday 1 April and makes it illegal to stir up hatred on the basis of characteristics such as age, disability, religion, sexual orientation and transgender identity.

Rowling is among critics who say the legislation could be used to silence so-called “gender-critical” feminists, who argue that rights for trans women should not come at the expense of those who are born biologically female.

In a lengthy series of posts on X, Rowling referred to several prominent trans women as men. Misgendering could be an offense under the new law, in some circumstances.

Rowling posted that “if what I’ve written here qualifies as an offence under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested.”

“Freedom of speech and belief are at an end in Scotland if the accurate description of biological sex is deemed criminal," she said.

Police in Scotland said the force had received complaints, but that “the comments are not assessed to be criminal and no further action will be taken.”

Scotland's semi-autonomous government says the new legislation — known as the Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act — will help tackle hatred and abuse.

Critics, including British prime minister Rishi Sunak, say the law may have a chilling effect on free speech.

Additional sources • AP

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