The Commission recently welcomed Justice Minister Amy Adams’ announcement that historic convictions for sex between men in New Zealand will be quashed.
In July last year, thirty years since the Homosexual Law Reform Bill became law, Commissioner Richard Tankersley called on the Government to review all pre-Act conviction files to identify those who received a conviction for what would now be lawful under the Act.
Seven months on, Justice Minister Amy Adams has announced that gay men who have carried historic convictions for homosexual acts for more than 30 years will soon get the opportunity to be pardoned by the Government.
The Government will consider pardons on a case-by-case basis and will allow those convicted before homosexual law reform in 1986 to have their crimes erased.
Human Rights Commissioner Richard Tankersley says the decision will go a long way towards restoring the human rights of those whose lives have been affected by convictions for gay sex, before the Homosexual Law Reform Act was introduced in 1986.
“I’m delighted that the Minister has shown strong leadership in her proposal to fix what has been a blight on the lives and memories of hundreds of people who ran afoul of an unjust Victorian law.
“I'm also very pleased to see reports of support from this from parties across the House.
“For many of those affected by these convictions, this announcement will be life-changing. I look forward to hearing the details of how the process will work for applicants or their families,” Mr Tankersley says.