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When does the past stop catching up with you?

May 17, 2017 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


‘Do I need to disclose my criminal conviction?’ With Victoria Police processing over 690,000 criminal history checks in the 2015-16 financial year, this is a question that many Victorians will need to ask themselves at some stage in their lives. Unfortunately, the answer is not so straightforward.

Currently, Victoria is the only Australian jurisdiction without a legislated spent convictions scheme. Rather, the release of a person’s criminal history is governed by Victoria Police’s Information Release Policy. This Policy is not consistent with the existing spent convictions schemes in other states and territories, and places Victorians at a significant disadvantage. Chiefly, the Policy does not distinguish between sentences imposed with conviction and those imposed without conviction, nor does it prevent the disclosure of charges for which a person is yet to be found guilty.

The stigma of a criminal record can impact a person more than a sentence itself, and can filter into all aspects of their lives; it can restrict their employment and volunteering opportunities, and ability to obtain licences and insurance.

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Given the increasing prominence that criminal history checks are assuming in the context of employment, the panel discussion aims to revive the conversation about desirability of legislating a spent convictions scheme in Victoria.

The panel will be made up of distinguished academics, politicians and legal practitioners, who will consider:

  • the current framework governing the disclosure of a person’s criminal history;
  • the nature of discrimination on the basis of a criminal record;
  • the human rights implications of the current framework, particularly with reference to the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic); and
  • options for reform, including the advantages and disadvantages of a legislated spent convictions scheme.

Audience members will be encouraged to ask questions during the Q&A.


May 17, 2017
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Rights Advocacy Project


The College of Law Victoria
Level 6 459 Little Collins Street
Melbourne, Victoria 3000 Australia
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