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Little hope of mass-wiping historical convtictions

Wed 9 Dec 2015 In: New Zealand Daily News

The Justice Minister has revealed there is little hope of a “broad-brush wiping” of historical convictions for homosexual acts. From a Homosexual Law Reform March - picture by David Hindley. Speaking to the NZ Herald, Justice Minister Amy Adams says “no case has been made that satisfies me” in regards to clearing all historical convictions for homosexual acts. The Homosexual Law Reform Act passed in 1986 and those were were convicted prior to this still carry a criminal conviction on their record. Adams says she is still willing to consider individual cases but is not considering a “broad-brush wiping” It was hoped that historical convictions would be mass-wiped, in 2014 former Justice Minister Judith Collins was advised on the options for this however no progress was made before Amy Adams took up the role in October last year. “Its impossible to tell whether they involved consensual acts or not after the event, because of the way the law was written,” says Adams. She says that while homosexual acts were illegal at the time, it is obvious this is not the view of society now and says this is a view she agrees with, “but at the time they were criminal offending and we judge criminality by the law at the time.” The Justice Minister had previously stated she is open to discussions about wiping pre-Homosexual Law Reform criminal records. 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. 2016 marks 30 years since the Homosexual Law Reform Act was voted into law by the New Zealand House of Representatives.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 9th December 2015 - 12:48pm

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