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Report on scheme to disregard historic convictions of gay and bisexual men in Ireland finalised

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The report from the working group established by the Department of Justice to examine the ‘Disregard of (historic) Convictions for Certain Qualifying Offences Related to Consensual Sexual Activity between Men’ has now been finalised.The “working group has completed its recommendations, it finalised them and will be giving them to Minister McEntee as soon as she returns on the first of June”, Minister of State at the Department, James Browne, said on Sunday, May 21.The group consists of representatives from the Department of Justice, An Garda Síochána, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), the Office of the Attorney General, and three members of the LGBTQ+ community that are experts in the area in question.The team set about work in 2021, three years after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar issued a formal apology to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) who were criminalised in decades past.With the formal apology marking the 25th anniversary of the decriminalisation of consensual same-sex activities, the government announced the plan to bring forward proposals for a scheme that would allow for the historic convictions of gbMSM to be quenched on the same day.At least 941 men were convicted of such offences until the law was repealed by the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act in 1993.

The main goals of the working group were to inspect the availability and quality of the records relating to these offences, as well as to determine which offences should be included and which standards would need to be met before an offence can be expunged.

Furthermore, the group examined the need for a scheme that would ensure such actions and looked at the possibility of putting in place a scheme similar to other..

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