JK Rowling Won't Be Arrested Under Hate Crime Laws Says Scottish Police

JK Rowling will not face any action under Scotland's new hate crime law after she challenged it by asserting on social media that a number of transgender women were men, police say.

The Harry Potter author, a prominent gender critical campaigner, made the comments on Monday, the day that the crime of "stirring up hatred" relating to age, disability, religion, sexual orientation and transgender identity came into effect.

Police Scotland said it had received complaints in relation to Rowling's social media posts.

"The comments are not assessed to be criminal and no further action will be taken," a spokesperson said.

Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf had said the bill was about "protecting people from a rising tide of hatred".

"Unless your behaviour is threatening or abusive and intends to stir up hatred, then you have nothing to worry about in terms of the new offences being created," he said.

Women are not protected as a group, but the Scottish National Party-led government in Edinburgh is looking at separate reforms to target misogyny.

The new hate crime law has also faced criticism over its impact on freedom of speech and concerns that it could be used to silence some views, including from those who advocate for women-only spaces.

Rowling tested the law by listing 10 trans women, including a convicted rapist, sex abusers and high-profile activists, on X and saying they were men.

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

"I'm currently out of the country, but if what I've written here qualifies as an offence under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment."

Scottish ministers have previously said misgendering people would not be an offence under the new law.

With AAP.