Apply to remove a past homosexual offence

If you were charged with a homosexual offence in the past, you can apply to have it removed from your record.

Consensual sex between adult men in private stopped being a crime in the Northern Territory (NT) on 1 January 1984.

The NT Government has introduced a new law to allow historical homosexual offences to be expunged, meaning removed, from a person's criminal record. This includes people found guilty or charged but not convicted of the offence.

Read about the Expungement of Historical Homosexual Offence Records Act 2018.

To remove a past conviction or charge from your record, the act must not be an offence under current NT law.

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If a charge or conviction is expunged, it means you will be treated as though it never happened.

It also means:

  • you don’t have to tell anyone about the charge or conviction, even when giving evidence under oath
  • the charge and any conviction will no longer be part of your criminal history
  • you can’t be refused an appointment, office, job or any licence, permit or registration because you:
    • have an expunged conviction or charge
    • fail to mention you have an expunged conviction or charge
  • it is an offence for any unauthorised person to reveal or get information about your expunged charge or conviction.

Examples of offences that you can apply to have removed from your record include:

  • consensual sexual activity of a homosexual nature
  • loitering or soliciting for homosexual purposes at gay beats
  • buggery or attempted buggery
  • consensual sex or sexual conduct in private by a male with a male above the age of 16.

This includes attempting, inciting or conspiring to commit any of the above offences.

There are different types of records that you can apply to have amended.

These include:

  • criminal history
  • antecedent reports
  • court files
  • information for courts
  • charge sheets.

These records are held by:

  • NT Police
  • the Director of Public Prosecutions
  • a court
  • NT Archives Service.

These authorities must amend and annotate these records if they relate to an expunged charge or conviction.

You can apply if you:

  • were charged, found guilty of or convicted of a past expungable offence in the NT
  • are acting on behalf of a person who:
    • has died or
    • has an impaired decision-making capacity.

Decision-making capacity is a person's ability to:

  • understand the nature and effect of decisions
  • freely and voluntarily make decisions
  • communicate those decisions in some way.

Apply for a deceased person

To apply on behalf of a person who has died, you must be one of the following:

  • surviving spouse or de facto partner
  • parent, child or sibling
  • executor of the person's will or the administrator of their estate
  • person who was in a close personal relationship with the person before they died
  • person involved in the act that was the subject of the charge or conviction.

Apply for a person with an impaired decision-making capacity

To apply on behalf of a person with a decision-making capacity, you must be one of the following:

  • guardian
  • public guardian
  • attorney appointed under an enduring power of attorney
  • decision‑maker appointed under the Advance Personal Planning Act
  • spouse, de facto partner, parent, child or sibling
  • person in a close personal relationship with the person
  • person involved in the act that was the subject of the charge or conviction.

If you are the applicant or are applying on behalf of someone else, you must provide photographic identification.

This is to prove you have the right to make the application and access personal information.

A list of approved identification documents can be found at the back of the application.

To apply, follow these steps:

Step 1. Fill in the application

Fill in the expungement of historical homosexual offence records application DOCX, 176.09 KB .

There is no fee to apply.

You can apply to have more than one conviction or charge removed from your record in one application.

You will need to provide the following information to help identify and locate the official records:

  • full name, date of birth and contact details of the person who is the subject of the application
  • a description of the offence that the person was charged with or convicted of
  • the name and location of the court where the person was convicted
  • the date of the charge or conviction
  • any relevant transcript or sentencing remarks (if you have any).

Supporting documents

As well as providing proof of your identity, you may need to include the following:

  • documents supporting the relationship between you (if you are applying on behalf of someone) and the applicant
  • statements or documents relating to the charge or conviction.

You must fill in the consent section of the form and sign the form for your application to be processed.

Step 2. Submit your application

You can submit your application by mail, email or in person.

In person

Department of the Attorney-General and Justice
Level 7
Old Admiralty Towers
68 The Esplanade
Darwin NT 0801
agd.expungement@nt.gov.au.

Mail

GPO Box 1722
Darwin NT 0801

You will be notified once your application has been received.

The CEO of the department will review your application and make a decision.

Your application will be handled sensitively and treated with confidentiality.

The assessment process

The department will carry out an initial assessment once it receives your application.

This involves:

  • contacting the police, courts and other public sector agencies for records
  • contacting you if further information is required.

The application process may take several months. This is to allow enough time for the department to find the relevant records and request them before assessing your application.

You can also provide additional information or documents during this time before a decision is made.

The department will communicate with you by your preferred method of contact. All material you receive will be marked 'private and confidential'.

You can withdraw your application at any time. You should contact the department before a decision on your application is made.

You will be notified of the decision in writing.

If your application is unsuccessful

If your application is unsuccessful, you can apply to the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal to review the decision.

To find out more, go to the Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal website.

To find out more, get the expungement of historical homosexual offence records fact sheet DOCX, 180.71 KB .

Read the Expungement of Historical Homosexual Offence Records Act 2018.

For more information, contact the Department of the Attorney-General and Justice by emailing agd.expungement@nt.gov.au or calling 08 8935 7657.

Last updated: 15 July 2019

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