Justice Committee: Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill

The Justice Committee has reported on the Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill & Petition 2014/69 of Wiremu Demchick and 2,111 others.

Compensation was noted as a point of difference from submissions received. The Justice Committee recommended that no compensation be paid as per Section 22 of the bill with the following comments.

“Clause 22 of the bill stipulates that there would be no entitlement to compensation for those whose convictions were expunged. Several submitters considered that the men
convicted should receive compensation for the harm they suffered as a result of their convictions. However, other submitters agreed with the position in the bill.

We are aware that the men convicted of these offences suffered real harm as a result of their convictions, and we acknowledge the concerns raised by submitters. However,
compensation goes beyond the purpose of the bill, which is to prevent further negative effects from the stigma of a conviction.

Nothing in the bill prevents a person being entitled to compensation in respect of anything that occurred while the person was serving a sentence or complying with an order or direction.”

The full report can be found on the NZ Parliament website

SOURCE: Justice Committee Report: Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill

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