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The Campaign to Pardon Gays in Aotearoa
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Public Submissions to Select Committee

petition presented to Parliament
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On 28 June 2017, the Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill was introduced to Parliament by the Government. This action follows the 6 July 2016 presentation of the Campaign's petition by MP Kevin Hague, which called for a process to be put in place to pardon gay men. The specifics of the process were not specified by the petition, because there are a number of technical details that need to be considered.

The recently-submitted Bill sets out one implementation of an expungement process. The Justice and Electoral Select Committee is now accepting submissions on this Bill, and the Campaign requests that those who have an interest in the issue make a submission. Submissions will close 18 August 2017.

You can make a submission by visiting this page on Parliament's website. You might find the Questions and Answers section helpful when preparing a submission. Please remember that submissions close on 18 August 2017.

Questions and Answers

Why is this matter going before Select Committee again?

There was a previous submissions process before the Justice and Electoral Select Committee when the petition was presented to Parliament in 2016. That process considered the relatively general issues raised by the petition.

Now, the matter is before Select Committee again, but this time the process will consider specific issues related to the recently introduced Criminal Records (Expungement of Convictions for Historical Homosexual Offences) Bill. Therefore, submitters may relate their comments specifically to the contents of this Bill (more details are below).

Where can I read the text of the Bill?

Reading the text of the Bill is a very good idea before making a submission. You can read it here.

You may find the Bill Digest published by Parliament helpful in understanding the contents of the Bill.

What are some resources that I can use to learn more about this issue?
National Library of New Zealand, Wellington
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It is strongly recommended that submitters read the submissions received by the Justice and Electoral Committee during the previous submissions process in 2016. You can read some of the submissions made to Select Committee here.

It is also recommended that submitters read the text of the Bill, which can be found here.

You may find the Bill Digest published by Parliament helpful in understanding the contents of the Bill. There is also a Regulatory Impact Statement and Departmental Disclosure Statement prepared by the Ministry of Justice, which contains analysis of the Bill, particularly the technicalities involved.

If you wish to learn more about the background of this issue, here are a few places that may be of interest. Please note that these sites are provided in the hope that they are useful, but the Campaign does not endorse them or vouch for their accuracy. To learn more about the more recent efforts of the Campaign to Pardon Gays in Aotearoa, you may find the list of external news items useful.

How does the Select Committee relate to the Parliamentary process?
New Zealand Parliament Buildings
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On 28 June 2017, the Government introduced a Bill which implements a proccess for pardoning men convicted of consensual homosexual offenses. This Bill received its first reading on 6 July 2017, and has been referred to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee.

The function of the Select Committee is to consider the issues surrounding the contents of this Bill, and to make formal recommendations to Parliament concerning what happens next.

The Select Committee stage is therefore an important stage in the life of any proposed legislation. Select Committees often solicit evidence in the form of submissions from experts and the general public, to allow for the full consideration of the issues involved.

You can make a submission to Select Committee on this matter until 18 August 2017.

Will the Campaign make a submission to Select Committee?

The Campaign is in the process of preparing a submission.

What matters should I consider in my submission?

At this stage of the process, there are many details to be considered regarding the implementation of an expungement process. There is no substitute to reading the Bill and associated documents to understand what is being proposed. (See What are some resources that I can use to learn more about this issue?, above.)

However, there are a few points that may be of particular interest to submitters.
When do submissions close?

Submissions to Select Committee close on 18 August 2017.
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