A person is disqualified from A panel of people selected from the general public to decide whether an accused in a criminal case is guilty or not guilty, or to decide questions of fact and the amount to be awarded as damages in civil cases. Formal delivery of legal documents to a person to tell them there are court proceedings against them which they must defend, or to make sure a witness in a case knows when they have to go to court to give evidence. if they:
- have ever committed an A criminal act prohibited by state or commonwealth criminal law. An offence is either a summary offence (minor) or an indictable offence (serious). that carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment;
- have been sentenced to imprisonment or detained in a forensic hospital for three years or more;
- have in the last 10 years been detained or imprisoned for three months or more;
- have in the last five years been detained in a youth justice centre or youth residential centre;
- have been put on a A bond or undertaking made to show a person understands what is required and will do something as promised. For example, an accused person can undertake to a court on recognisance that they will appear at a later date for their hearing. A recognisance may include a payment, known as a security, to back up the commitment. to be of good behaviour; or
- are currently subject to a An independent body that hears legal claims brought by parties and decides between them. Serious cases are heard by a judge and jury, or just a judge. Less-serious cases are heard by a magistrate. order, The procedure that allows a person who has been charged with an offence to be released from police control or prison until the hearing of the case. Courts can add conditions to bail. For example, they can require that people released on bail promise to come to the court on a set date, or put up an amount of money that they cannot get back if they do not appear as they promised. See also undertaking., To free a prisoner after they have served a minimum term, but before the end of their sentence. While on parole the person may be subject to conditions such as having to report regularly to police. or sentence.
This is not a complete list; there are other circumstances that may disqualify a person from serving as a A member of a jury.. The complete list of circumstances is set out in schedule 1 of the Juries A written law made by parliament. Also called an ‘Act of parliament’, ‘statute’ or legislation. 2000 (Vic). Seek legal advice if you are unsure.
Some countries require you to disclose past arrests or convictions on A permit that allows a person who is not a citizen to stay in a country on certain conditions, for the length of time stated in the visa. applications. The country you apply to enter A document that sets out what a person wants to happen to their money and other property after they die. automatically check your criminal record whether or not you disclose a conviction. An international listing of criminal records (the ‘movement alert list’) is checked. Most countries, including Australia, add offences committed by their citizens to the list. All countries have access to this list when processing visa and migration applications.
Holding public office
Having a criminal record may impact your ability to hold a public office. A person is disqualified (for seven years) from becoming or remaining a councillor in Victorian local government or a member of state parliament if, when aged over 18, they are convicted of an offence under Australian law that carries a maximum penalty of at least five years in jail.
A person is disqualified from holding a seat in federal parliament if they have been convicted of an offence that is punishable by at least one year in jail, regardless of the actual penalty imposed.
Committees of management and corporation boards
People with criminal records cannot be appointed as directors and office holders of corporations under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) if they have been convicted of an A serious crime that is generally heard before a judge and jury in the County Court or the Supreme Court a criminal case. Examples of indictable offences include assault and armed robbery. that:
- concerns the making, or participation in the making of decisions that affect the business of the corporation; or
- concerns an act that has the The ability to understand and be held responsible by the law for your actions. It also refers to a person’s ability to understand and agree to something, such as to undergo medical treatment. Full legal capacity is reached at 18 years of age, when a child becomes an adult. to affect the corporation’s financial The right to appear in a court action and be heard. In general, a person cannot bring a case or have their say in a court about something that does not directly affect their interests. They must be able to show that they have sufficient interest in the case because, for example, of possible effects on their property or commercial activities. Also called locus standi..
A person is also disqualified from managing a corporation if they are convicted of an offence that:
- is a contravention of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and punishable by at least one year in jail; or
- involves dishonesty and is punishable by at least three months in jail; or
- is an offence against the law of a foreign country and is punishable by at least one year in jail.
Note that a person who has been found guilty of these offences, but has not had a conviction recorded, is not disqualified from being appointed. A person with a relevant criminal history may apply to be appointed with the permission of ASIC or a court.
The rules for being a trustee of a charity that is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) are the same as for being on the board of a company. If a charity wants to appoint a person to their board who would not normally be allowed to serve because of their criminal record, it can The review of the decision of a lower court by a higher court. If an appeal is successful, the higher court can change the lower court’s decision. to the ACNC.
The Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (Vic) does not disqualify a person with a criminal record from acting as an office holder or committee member of an incorporated association. However, individual organisations may apply such restrictions in their rules of association or constitutions.
A criminal record may affect a person’s ability to organise fundraising. Fundraisers must be registered and comply with the Fundraising Act 1998 (Vic) (‘Fundraising Act’). A person cannot be registered as a fundraiser if they have been found guilty of a disqualifying offence in the 10 years before applying for registration. Disqualifying offences include An intentionally dishonest act, or lack of action, done to deceive someone and bring some advantage over those who have been deceived., dishonesty, violence, and drug-trafficking offences punishable by at least three months in jail, or offences under the Fundraising Act. A person’s criminal record may affect their ability to participate in the management of charities that fundraise. However, some organisations are exempt from the requirement to register as a fundraiser (e.g. educational institutions, religious bodies, health agencies and trade unions).
Victims of crime payments
The Victims of Crime Assistance A body set up to hear and decide disputes, usually with less formality and less strict rules of evidence than in a court proceeding. may limit an (1) A standard set of working conditions, including pay rates, for a particular industry. (2) A court decision that a party receive compensation, such as an award of damages to compensate them for physical injuries. of financial assistance to a person having regard to their criminal history (s 54 Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic)).
There is no Statutory rules made by parliament or by bodies the parliament delegates power to, for example a local council or a registration authority. See delegated legislation; statute. that prohibits people with a criminal record from obtaining insurance, or that restricts insurers from offering it. Insurers are entitled to ask about your criminal history when you apply for insurance and you must answer any questions honestly.
The impact of a person’s criminal record depends on the type of insurance sought and the insurer’s underwriting guidelines. However, an insurance An agreement that the law will enforce. is unenforceable if the insured did not disclose their criminal history when asked by the insurer.