GAY men who were convicted of same-sex offences in Scotland before laws against homosexuality were dropped are to receive full pardons, it has been claimed.

It is understood that the Scottish government will announce a new bill next week.

The Scottish bill will not require anyone to apply for a pardon.

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Men still living would also be able to apply for a "disregard" to remove convictions from their record.

This would need to applied for, in order to check that offences are not ones which are still illegal such as non-consensual sex and sex with someone under 16.

It would be different from the new legislation in England and Wales which only "automatically" pardons those who died before February this year.

The law would only apply to men because gay women were not criminalised.

The passing of the Turing bill in January pardoned 50,000 men for homosexual crimes that no longer existed.

The law, part of the Policing and Crime Bill, was named after St Leonards-raised computer pioneer and Bletchley Park codebreaker Alan Turing.

He was convicted of homosexual acts in 1952, accepting chemical castration rather than prison, and who then committed suicide within two years. He was pardoned in 2013.

The Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexual acts between men over 21 in England and Wales in 1967.

But consensual sex between men was only decriminalised in Scotland in 1980 and the age of consent for same-sex sexual activity was not equalised for sexual activity between men and women until 2001.

It is expected up to 5,000 men in Scotland, living and dead, could be included in the provisions of the new bill.

In claims made by the BBC, it is likely to be part of a bill looking at which historical convictions could be wiped from people's criminal records and after how long.

Last year Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said he wanted to see an "automatic formal pardon" for those convicted under these "discriminatory" laws, calling it an "injustice" he needed to address.

The bill is expected to receive cross-party support in Holyrood.

Tim Hopkins, director of the Equality Network, told the BBC that the Scottish legislation would be significantly different to that already passed in England and Wales.

He said: "We don't know exactly how many people this will apply to.

"In England and Wales the figure was put at 50,000 so normally it would be about 10% of that but it is difficult to tell because prosecution policy tended to be somewhat less strict here.

"Certainly we are talking about many hundreds of people prosecuted for things that are no longer illegal. And it will apply also to people prosecuted 300 and more years ago."

A Scottish government spokeswoman said the first minister will announce the Scottish government's legislative plans for 2017-2018 when she publishes the Programme For Government on Tuesday.

She said: "However, as the cabinet secretary announced last year, the Scottish government will introduce legislation that will, if approved by parliament, provide for a pardon for those convicted under now repealed discriminatory laws for activity that would now be legal, and unlike the UK government system, this will not require anyone to apply for such a pardon.

"The pardon will apply to both the living and posthumously.

"The Scottish government will also introduce a scheme to allow people with such convictions to apply to have them 'disregarded' so they would never show up on a criminal record check."