Laws criminalising consensual homosexual activity and cross-dressing were unfair and unjust.

It is our view the broader Tasmanian community would believe people should never have been charged or convicted in the first place. Even if it was thought at the time that it was the right thing to do, it was not.

We accept also that we cannot change the past, nor can we undo that harm - the distress caused to members of our community. We can apologise for it and we do so today.

— Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman during the debate in the Tasmanian Parliament on the Expungement of Historical Offences Bill on 13 April 2017.

What is expungement?

Under the expungement of historical offences scheme, a person or an appropriate representative can make a confidential application for charges relating to historical homosexual or cross-dressing offences to be expunged.

If a person’s historical charge is expunged, then:

  • the person is not required to disclose the charge or conviction, including when giving evidence under oath;
  • the charge and any conviction is taken not to form part of the person’s official criminal history;
  • the disclosure (or non-disclosure) of an expunged charge or conviction is not proper grounds for refusing a person any appointment, office, status or privilege; and
  • it is an offence for any other person without authority to disclose or seek to obtain information about a person’s expunged charge or conviction.

Records about charges will be obtained from the police and the courts. In most cases this information will be sufficient for the application to be determined. Applicants will not be required to attend a hearing or provide oral evidence.

An expunged charge will no longer appear on a police criminal history check.

Making an application

Confidential applications to the Secretary of the Department of Justice can be made online, posted or emailed using a form available from our Making an application page.

Support services

Free legal assistance and support services are available.

More information

More information is available on our Questions and Answers page or you can contact us.