Spent Convictions Bill 2008

Activity occurred prior to the current government.

In Queensland, whether a conviction for a criminal offence can be spent or remains part of a person’s official criminal record is governed by the Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986 (CLROA).

Spent convictions schemes exist in all Australian jurisdictions, except Victoria and South Australia. The schemes vary in operation between jurisdictions through the level of convictions capable of being spent, exclusions from the schemes, when the waiting period commences and its length, the means by which convictions become spent and the situations in which such information may be used, disclosed and taken into account.

These inconsistencies can create complexities both for rehabilitated offenders, for agencies responsible for the provision of criminal history information and for exempt agencies responsible for assessing a person’s fitness for admission to certain professions or occupations.

The Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) is working on a project to design a national model Bill for a spent convictions scheme. Adopting a national model aims to provide for certainty and uniformity in approach across all Australian jurisdictions.

The draft Spent Convictions Bill 2008 has been developed with that in mind. This paper invites comment on the draft Bill that could form the national model for a spent convictions scheme. Please note that the draft Bill does not represent the policy of the Queensland Government or the Ministers involved in SCAG.

Submissions on the draft Bill closed on 27 January 2009.