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NZ to look at wiping gay sex convictions

Fri 31 Oct 2014 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Justice Minister Amy Adams says she is open to discussions about wiping the criminal records of men convicted of having sex with other men before Homosexual Law Reform in 1986. Though it’s not clear just how many people have historical gay sex convictions, nearly 900 were recorded between 1980 and 1986. Many of the men convicted are now dead, while others are unwilling to discuss them. New Zealand has never mass-wiped pre law reform gay sex convictions, however there is capacity for people to have their conviction omitted. While the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act which came into force in 2004 does not automatically conceal sexual offences from someone's record, people can apply to a District Court to have their conviction disregarded. This mechanism was recommended in part to ensure that historical gay sex convictions could be concealed. Following progress in the area in Australia, new Justice Minister Amy Adams has told the Dominion Post she is open to resuming discussions about such convictions being completely expunged, picking up on work her predecessor Judith Collins began. Adams says it would not be a simple problem to solve, as it was difficult to look at an offence retroactively. "I have seen some numbers that suggest you would have to do it very carefully if you were to consider it, simply because a number of the offences under the old legislation would still be offences, so it's not a broad brush." Read the Dominion Post story here     

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 31st October 2014 - 9:08am

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