New Zealand Law Society - Historic homosexual convictions can now be expunged

Historic homosexual convictions can now be expunged

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Application forms and guidance on how to apply to expunge convictions for homosexual offences that have since been decriminalised are available on the Ministry of Justice website.

The Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historic Homosexual Offences) Act 2018 came into force on 10 April 2018.

Men and the families of those who have since died who were convicted of specific offences that were decriminalised by the Homosexual Reform Act 1986 can now apply to have their offences expunged.

Justice Minister Andrew Little says the key element of the application process is showing that conduct that led to a conviction is no longer legal.

“The applicant should supply as much detail and supporting information including, old documentation or newspaper clippings," he says

“However, all applications will be considered. The Ministry of Justice will work with the courts, the Police and Archives New Zealand to gather information on the official record of the convictions.

“The Secretary for Justice must then be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the conduct would not be an offence under today’s law when making the decision on whether to wipe the conviction or not."

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