Compo call for victims of old anti-gay laws

 

PEOPLE convicted of homosexuality or cross dressing under repealed Tasmanian laws should be given an ex-gratia payment when their convictions are expunged, a legislative review has recommended.

Tasmania was the last Australian state to decriminalise homosexual acts between consenting males, in 1997.

Cross dressing became legal in 2001.

Laws which came into effect in Tasmania in April 2018 allowed people convicted of offences relating to homosexuality or cross-dressing to have their convictions expunged.

A review of the expungement laws recommended some changes to the legislation - and a payment for successful applicants.

The review said that since the law came into effect, 10 applications have been made, although none have been successful.

Nine applications were for offences unrelated to the intent of the legislation and the one application deemed eligible was refused because the conduct was likely still an offence.

Around 96 people are thought to have been convicted of "homosexual offences" in Tasmania prior to the last prosecution in 1984. Ten are thought to be still alive.

"The independent reviewers recommend that the government introduce a one-off ex-gratia payment of a fixed amount as acknowledgment and redress for applicants who have charges and convictions expunged under the Act," the review said.

The report noted that the scope of eligible convictions for which expungement was available was narrow and the online application form was not readily accessible.

The review also recommended that the law be changed to allow for the expungement of offences of resisting, obstructing or assaulting police enforcing the repealed laws in relation to homosexuality or cross dressing.

 

david.killick@news.com.au

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Compo call for victims of old anti-gay laws


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