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Crime

Austria could expunge historic gay sex offences

Joseph McCormick September 17, 2015

The incidents have been described as "deliberate and targeted homophobic attacks" (Flickr)

LGBT rights activists have welcomed a proposal which could allow those convicted of historic gay sex offences to be pardoned.

The country’s justice minister introduced a proposal which would allow gay men and women to apply to have their convictions pardoned, reports the Local.

This comes two years after the European Court of Human Rights accused the country of breaking the European Convention on Human Rights through not clearing the historic criminal convictions.

Homosexuality was decriminalised in Austria in 1971, but an unequal age of consent remained until 2002.

The proposed draft law would not automatically pardon those convicted under historic anti-gay laws.

It requires those convicted, or a relative or the district attorney’s office to apply for a pardon, which must be granted by a court.

The court would then decide whether the conviction would be deleted.

Courts would base the decision on whether the convicting act would be illegal today.

The proposed legislation is open for appraisal until 18 September, allowing relevant organisations to give testimony on the proposals.

Following the appraisal period, the Ministry of Justice will consider it, before it goes to Parliament.

More: Austria, Austria, austrian government, Europe, gay sex offences, historic, pardon

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