Human Rights: COMPARATIVE TABLE OF LEGISLATION ON SPENT CONVICTIONS

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COMPARATIVE TABLE OF LEGISLATION ON SPENT CONVICTIONS

(Table from Attorney-General's Department (South Australia), 'Spent Conviction Legislation', discussion paper, Adelaide 2004)

FEATURES: CTH: NSW: QLD: ACT: NT: WA: TAS:
Crimes Act 1914 Criminal Records Act 1991 Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986 Spent Convictions Act 2000 Criminal Records (Spent Convictions) Act 1992 Spent Convictions Act 1988 Annulled Convictions Act 2003
Definition of conviction
  • Conviction whether summary or on indictment.
  • Finding of guilt.
  • No finding of guilt but matter taken into account re: sentence for another offence.
  • Conviction whether summary or on indictment.
  • Finding of guilt/that offence proved.
  • Order that person be of good behaviour.
  • Order made by the Children's Court.
  • Conviction by or before any Court.
  • Conviction whether summary or on indictment.
  • Person charged, charge proved but disposed of without conviction.
  • Any conviction.
  • Finding that offence proved.
  • Any other order made without proceeding to conviction which constitutes a criminal record under the Act.
  • Any Conviction.
  • Charge disposed of without conviction.

The definition does not include:

  • Life sentence.
  • Children's conviction.
  • Conviction whether summary or on indictment.
  • Finding of guilt.
Conviction capable of becoming spent
  • Sentence with no imprisonment.
  • 30 month sentence or less.
  • Pardon for reason other than that a person was wrongly convicted.
6 month sentence or less (subject to exceptions for sexual offence, body corporate and prescribed convictions).
  • Sentence with no imprisonment.
  • 30 month sentence or less.
6 month sentence or less (subject to exceptions for sexual offence, body corporate and prescribed convictions). 6 month sentence or less (subject to exceptions for sexual offence, body corporate and prescribed convictions). Serious conviction
  • sentence of more than 1 year or for an indeterminate period.
  • fine of $15,000 or more.
  • By application.

Lesser conviction

  • sentence less than 1 year and not for an indeterminate period.
6 month sentence or less (subject to exceptions for sexual offence and prescribed convictions).
Waiting period 10 years (adult).
5 years (child).

10 years (adult).
3 years (child).

Certain convictions spent before this including:

  • A finding without conviction & order in Children's Court dismissing charge and cautioning are immediate.
  • Good behaviour bond spent upon satisfactory completion of conditions.
10 years (adult indictable).
5 years (other offences/offenders).

10 years (adult).
5 years (child).

Certain convictions spent before this include:

  • A finding without conviction & order in Children's Court dismissing charge and cautioning are immediate.
  • Good behaviour bond spent upon satisfactory completion of conditions.

10 years (adult). 5 years (child).

Certain convictions spent before this include:

  • Conviction not recorded and person discharged is immediately spent.
  • Where offence proved and no conviction, conviction spent subject to completion of certain conditions.
10 years (adult).
2 years (child).
10 years (adult).
5 years (child).
Means by which convictions become spent Automatic – upon expiration of waiting period (subject to no further conviction). Automatic - upon expiration of waiting period (subject to no further conviction). Automatic - upon expiration of waiting period (subject to no further conviction). Automatic - upon expiration of waiting period (subject to no further conviction).

For adult offenders and juvenile offenders convicted in the Juvenile Court, automatic - upon expiration of waiting period (subject to no further conviction).

For Juvenile Offenders convicted in an adult Court, upon application to the Police Commissioner.

Upon application to district court judge who will exercise discretion (serious offence) and application to the Commissioner of Police (lesser offence). Automatic - upon expiration of waiting period (subject to no further conviction).
Commencement of time period From the date of conviction. At the end of the period of imprisonment served. From the date of conviction. At the end of the period of imprisonment served. At the end of the period of imprisonment served. At the end of the period for which the person is sentenced regardless of amount of time served. From the date of conviction.
Consequence of conviction becoming spent You are not required to disclose to any person for any purpose that you have been charged with/convicted of that offence.

You are not required to disclose information regarding a spent conviction.

Your criminal history is taken to refer only to convictions which are not spent.

You are not to disclose your spent conviction to another person unless you wish to do so.

You are not required to disclose information regarding a spent conviction.

Your criminal history is taken to refer only to convictions which are not spent.

You are not required to disclose information regarding a spent conviction.

Your criminal history is taken to refer only to convictions which are not spent.

Reference in any law to conviction does not include spent conviction.

You are not required to disclose or acknowledge a spent conviction.

You are not required to disclose information regarding a spent conviction.

Your criminal history is taken to refer only to convictions which are not spent.

Consequences of disclosing spent convictions

A person who knows, or could reasonably be expected to know that a person's conviction is spent should not disclose that fact to any other person without consent and should not take the spent conviction into account.

A person may complain to Privacy Commissioner about act or practice of a person/agency that may be in breach of the Act.

A person is not entitled to take a spent conviction into account in assessing a person's character.

It is an offence to disclose spent conviction information without lawful authority.

It is an offence for a person to fraudulently or dishonestly obtain spent conviction information.

It is an offence to contravene any provision of the Act. This includes disclosing the spent conviction (unless it is under authority or permit) and disregarding any spent conviction.

A person is not entitled to take a spent conviction into account in assessing a person's character.

It is an offence to disclose spent conviction information without lawful authority.

It is an offence for a person to fraudulently or dishonestly obtain spent conviction information.

A person is not entitled to take a spent conviction into account for an unauthorised purpose.

It is an offence to disclose spent conviction information without lawful authority and for a person with access to spent conviction information, who knows or should reasonably be expected to know that a conviction is spent, to disclose the information other than in accordance with the Act.

It is an offence for a person to fraudulently or dishonestly obtain spent conviction information.

A person is not entitled to take a spent conviction into account in assessing a person's character.

It is unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground of a spent conviction.

A person is not to disclose or acknowledge matters relating to the spent conviction of another person.

It is an offence to obtain spent conviction information without lawful authority.

A person is not entitled to take a spent conviction into account in assessing a person's character or for an unauthorised purpose

It is unlawful to threaten to disclose spent conviction information

It is an offence to disclose spent conviction information without lawful authority

It is an offence for a person to fraudulently or dishonestly obtain spent conviction information