In some states and territories around Australia, people who have been found guilty or convicted of historic homosexual offences can apply for these offences to be expunged 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 expunged in Victoria, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania and Queensland, and you can apply under South Australia's spent convictions legislation.
How do I apply?
If you have or know someone who has a historic finding of guilt or conviction for homosexual activity, the Expungement Legal Service can:
- 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.
Our Expungement Legal Service provides free and confidential legal help to anyone affected by these laws in any state or territory in Australia. Our team is staffed by LGBTIQ identifying lawyers and includes volunteer lawyer Jamie Gardiner who has personal experience of the climate and police attitudes before the old laws were repealed.
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.
Which states and territories' expungement schemes have yet to come into effect?
The Northern Territory and Western Australian Governments have passed expungement legislation and are in the process of implementing the scheme.
Contact the Expungement Legal Service
Phone: (03) 8636 4458
If you call outside office hours, please inform us if we can leave you a message and your preferred method of contact.