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Unjust gay convictions one step closer to being wiped

A Bill demonstrating the Government’s ongoing commitment to right the wrongs of the past for those who were convicted of historical homosexual offences has passed its second reading says Justice Minister Andrew Little.

“The Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill introduces a scheme to expunge convictions for men for specific offences that were decriminalised by the Homosexual Reform Act 1986. To be wiped, the conduct must not be an offence under today’s laws.

“Nearly every single submission received expressed clear support for the intent of the Bill. I would particularly like to thank those submitters who shared their stories with the committee.

“The Justice Select Committee recommended a small number of changes to the Bill. These include minor technical changes, altering offence provisions to better align with other legislation and to ensure that people are not put under pressure to disclose their expunged convictions.

“The main purpose of the Bill is to create a statutory scheme for a convicted person, or a representative if that person is deceased, to apply for their conviction to be expunged remains unchanged.

“This Bill empowers those convicted and their representatives by providing an effective way to right the wrongs of the past,” says Andrew Little.


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