Gay Project

Expungement is a term used to describe the process of removing criminal records from individuals who were convicted under laws that have since been repealed. As the thirtieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Ireland approaches, there has been a concerted effort remove convictions under discriminatory laws as they affected LGBT citizens in Ireland. To inform the public discourse on this subject, earlier this year, Gay Project instructed international law firm Clifford Chance to prepare a multi-jurisdictional survey to establish the nature and scope of Expungement Legislation in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, New Zealand, Scotland and Spain. Clifford Chance prepared and produced the surveys with input from local qualified lawyers from Clifford Chance offices in respect of the Australia, England, Germany, Scotland and Spain surveys; Bell Gully in respect of the New Zealand survey and Blakes in respect of the Canada survey. The results of these surveys can be found below. We are grateful to all those lawyers who generously gave their time to produce this valuable resource, and we hope their work will help us to ensure that Ireland has the most comprehensive and sensitive process for disregarding such convictions.
For the avoidance of doubt, nothing in the publication of this survey constitutes legal advice to any person.
The publishing of these surveys coincides with the public consultation on legislative proposals from the Department for Justice, which opened in November; we encourage  submissions by the deadline of 9th December, just go to