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February 26, 2017 | by  | in News |
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Pardons for historic homosexual convictions

Justice Minister Amy Adams announced on February 9 that those convicted before the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986 will have the opportunity to apply for pardons to overturn historic convictions.

Families of the convicted are able to apply on their behalf, and applicants can also request a public parliamentary apology if all parties agree.

Legislation will be introduced into the House in the coming months, with a plan to begin reviewing applications in 2018.

The Ministry of Justice has estimated that 879 people were convicted of homosexual acts before 1986, but 80% of the convictions, like under-age sex offences, would still be considered offences today.

While campaigners wanted a blanket pardon, applications will be judged on a case-by-case basis due to the current illegality of some of the convictions.

Prime Minister Bill English stated that there will be no possibility for compensation to those convicted before 1986.

A spokesperson from UniQ Victoria told Salient that “it was about time” that the pardons were offered, but that they are “very conflicted” about the announcement as they believe that without compensation, the move is “an empty gesture” and an “election ploy.”

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