Updated 1 July 2019: The Human Rights Law Centre provided free and confidential legal help to dozens of people to remove unjust historical homosexual offences from their criminal records between 2016 and 2019. We no longer operate our Expungement Legal Service, but there are lots of organisations who can provide this assistance (see below).
In Australia, people who have been found guilty or convicted of historic homosexual offences can apply for these offences to be removed from their criminal record. These changes were introduced in recognition that homosexual sexual conduct between consenting adults should never have been a crime.
Can I apply for my conviction to be expunged?
Currently, you can apply to have your criminal conviction for consensual homosexual conduct to be removed from your criminal record - ‘spent’ (SA), ‘extinguished’ (NSW) or ‘expunged’ (all other states and territories).
How do I apply?
If you have or know someone who has a historic finding of guilt or conviction for homosexual activity, you should seek free legal help to:
Advise you on the expungement scheme (including if you are eligible to apply);
Assist you to prepare your application and relevant paperwork; and
Support you through the expungement process.
What does expungement mean?
If your application is successful, your finding of guilt or conviction will be removed for all official purposes (eg. police records check, visa applications, employment history, court record, Working with Children Check) and you will not be required to disclose it.
Free legal assistance
You can contact the following services for free legal help:
Australian Capital Territory - Canberra Community Law