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Sugden announces proposals to pardon convictions for abolished Homosexual Offences

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Claire Sugden
Claire Sugden

Justice Minister Claire Sugden has secured Executive agreement to ask the Assembly to pass a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM) to include provisions in the Policing and Crime Bill for pardons for convictions relating to abolished homosexual offences.

Minister Claire Sugden said: “Pardon arrangements should be brought to Northern Ireland as soon as possible to ensure that there is equal treatment for gay and bisexual men here as for their counterparts in England and Wales.

“This is an opportunity for the criminal justice system to try and right the wrongs of the past and one which will allow for much earlier resolve than that presented by way of an Assembly Bill.”

The motion for legislative consent will now go forward for consideration by the Assembly. If passed, it is intended that the Policing and Crime Bill will provide the same pardon arrangements for Northern Ireland as for England and Wales. The provisions will allow for pardons, both posthumously and for live cases, in respect of convictions for abolished homosexual offences involving consensual activity with persons over the age of consent.

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