Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced the first two expungements of unjust historical convictions under the Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Act 2018.
“Three decades ago, Parliament reformed the law so gay people could live their lives without fear of unjust criminal prosecution. But for all of that time, some men have lived with the stigma of a historical criminal record for being gay before reform,” Mr Little says.
“By unanimously passing the Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Act 2018, Parliament confirmed the criminalisation of gay people was a historical wrong that needed to be fixed.
“I am delighted that the first two applicants have had their records cleared. Those men can now move on with their lives, knowing the state has acknowledged they should never have been convicted, and now they legally never were.
“A number of other expungement applications have been received and are being processed by officials.
“I hope that today other men who were wrongly convicted of homosexual offences, and have lived with that stigma, will know they can apply for expungement without fear,” Mr Little says.
To protect the privacy of individuals whose unjust convictions have been expunged, the Justice Minister will not be commenting on individual cases.