From 1 September 2015, Victoria has a new scheme to expunge historical convictions for homosexual activity that would not be a criminal offence today.
The changes to the Sentencing Act 1991 recognise that homosexual sex between consenting adults should never have been a crime.
A person with an expunged conviction:
- may legally claim not to have been convicted or found guilty of that offence
- is not required to disclose that conviction or finding of guilt for any purpose, and
- cannot be denied a job or position due to that conviction or finding of guilt.
The historical conviction will no longer show up on a police records check.
Under the scheme, an individual (or the appropriate representative of a deceased person) can make a confidential application to the Secretary of the Department of Justice and Community Safety to have their conviction or finding of guilt for an historical homosexual offence expunged. This application can be made free of charge.
If a conviction or finding of guilt is expunged, police, prosecution and court records will either be marked to show that the conviction is expunged or electronic records may be amended or deleted.
There is no list of offences covered by the scheme. Offences may include the type of criminal offences that were used to punish consensual homosexual sex between adults in the past, such as buggery, gross indecency with a male and loitering for homosexual purposes. Other sexual and public morality offences may be eligible for consideration under the scheme, if it can be established that the individual was only charged or prosecuted due to the homosexual nature of the activity and that this would not be an offence in Victoria today.
Further information about the scheme is available via the fact sheet.
Free application forms and information about the application process are available to download below. There are two types of application:
Applicant or their delegate
Use these forms available to download below if you are applying for yourself or representing someone as a guardian or power of attorney.
Representative of a deceased person
Use these forms available to download below if you are applying on behalf of someone who has died.
All applications should be mailed to the address below.
Private and Confidential
GPO Box 4356
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
If you have any questions please contact the Secretariat on (03) 8684 0818 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org .