Ben Hall

Ben Hall

A fairer Victoria; Spent Convictions Scheme

From Tuesday 27 October 2020, the Spent Convictions Bill 2020 Bill has been tabled in the Victorian parliament which will mean that Victorians who have been burdened with past convictions throughout years of their lives, will have a better chance at moving forward and away from their past.  

The ‘Spent Convictions Scheme’ has been designed to reduce the adverse effects of outdated criminal records. The scheme has been specifically designed for people looking for employment as well as trying to secure a house or apply for volunteer work.  

As it currently stands, Victoria is the only state or territory in the country that is yet to have a scheme relating to ‘spent convictions’. Victoria Police currently have discretion about disclosing convictions, and this move will act to aid in the rehabilitation phase of those disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system.  

Attorney-General, The Hon Jill Hennessy MP, states:   

“A minor offence in the past should not be a life sentence – this scheme will break the cycle of disadvantage faced by too many Victorians as they seek to turn their lives around.” 

“People who have proven they are willing and able to change and make a positive contribution to society should be given every chance to do so.” 

See the media release of Attorney General, The Hon Jill Hennessy MP here.  

Complete records will still be released in some instances where third parties and employers request. The Court system and Victoria Police will also still have access to all prior criminal convictions. However, the measure seeks to limit the adverse effects of previous convictions stemming back ten years for adults and five years for juveniles.  

The scheme now means that these prior convictions will no longer show up in a police check if the person does not re-offend during that time.  

The team at Midwinters Lawyers are ready to assist you with all your legal matters specifically as they relate to the criminal law landscape.

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