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Pardons for Gay and Bisexual Men (Northern Ireland)

Volume 616: debated on Tuesday 1 November 2016

13. What discussions she has had with the Northern Ireland Executive on pardons for gay and bisexual men convicted of offences which have subsequently been abolished. (906951)

I am aware that Lord Lexden has tabled amendments seeking to extend to Northern Ireland the provisions tabled by Lord Sharkey in respect of England and Wales on this issue. Northern Ireland has legislative powers over matters relating to justice and policing. This is a devolved matter.

Given the unique equality legislation in Northern Ireland, does the Minister see a problem in any attempt to introduce such a measure in the Province?

If legislation is to be introduced extending the Turing pardon and a disregard process to Northern Ireland, that is a decision for the Northern Ireland Assembly to take. Were the provisions to be extended to Northern Ireland, a legislative consent motion would, by convention, be required.