Introduction

On 1 October 2012, the Home Office introduced guidance which allows people in England and Wales with some historical convictions and cautions for consensual gay sex to apply to have those offences removed from their records. This section explains the recent changes in the law and how to make an application. Compiled with Bindmans Solicitors.

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Background on offences for consensual gay sex

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 decriminalised consensual sex between men, abolishing the offences of buggery and gross indecency.

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The New Legislation

The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 (‘the Act’) introduced a new right for men with historic convictions and cautions on their records to apply to the to have them ‘disregarded’.

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Does the new law apply to me and what offences can be disregarded?

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What if the offence took place in a public toilet?

A sizable number of convictions for gross indecency were for sexual acts in public toilets. Currently, the Government is unwilling to disregard these convictions on the basis that it is still illegal for anyone to have sex in a public toilet

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Do I need to apply to have a previous conviction disregarded?

Convictions will not be disregarded automatically, so if you want your conviction or caution to be disregarded, then you will have to apply to the Home Office.

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Before Applying

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How To Apply

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Appeals Process

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Other Questions About the Applications Process

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Other Questions

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