The Secretary for Justice, Andrew Bridgman, granted the first two applications for the expungement of historical homosexual convictions last week.
Earlier this year it was announced that people (or their families if they have passed away) can apply to have historic homosexual convictions wiped.
The application scheme was launched in April when Parliament passed the Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Act 2018. This means that people who were convicted of specific offences that were decriminalised by the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986, can apply to be treated as if they had never been convicted. Applications are required to be determined by the Secretary for Justice, who acts independently in considering them.
Mr Bridgman says that the process to grant the applications has been complex and taken some time.
“In these cases, I am satisfied that based on all of the information available, the historic convictions should be wiped.” says Mr Bridgman.
“These people can now move forward in their lives with a clean record.”
“The expungement scheme can play an important part in righting historical wrongs, and in restoring dignity to people’s lives. I would encourage anyone who was convicted of homosexual offences to apply to have their record wiped.”