New Act Provides Pathway to Right Past Wrongs
The Expungement of Historical Homosexual Offence Records Act 2018 commences today, offering Territorians the right to apply to have their historical homosexual criminal records expunged.
The move is part of ongoing reforms across all jurisdictions in Australia regarding historical homosexual criminal records.
Applicants will need to provide basic personal details and information about the convictions or charges to assist with the assessment process. The free scheme only applies to charges or convictions recorded in the Territory.
Records of an expunged charge or conviction do not show up on a Police History Check.
Consensual homosexual sex was a crime in the Territory until 1984.
As noted by Attorney-General, Natasha Fyles:
Territorians deserve a legal system they can trust, a system that supports changing community attitudes.
The Territory Labor Government has listened to the community and introduced legislation to better reflect those attitudes.
The main aim of the new Act is to address the historical impact of stigmatisation and discrimination experienced by those found guilty of or charged with a homosexual offence.
As such, there is scope in the legislation to allow authorised people to apply on behalf of a deceased person and for a legal guardian to apply on behalf of a person who is not able to do it themselves.