Criminal Record Discrimination Project – Submission to Aboriginal Justice Forum
This submission endorses the need for a legislated spent convictions scheme & anti-discrimination reforms to improve outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians.
The Woor-Dungin Criminal Record Discrimination project is an Aboriginal-led collaboration between community and legal organisations. It was established after calls from the community for a response to the range of negative impacts Aboriginal Victorians face as a result of the unregulated disclosure of, and inappropriate reliance on, old and irrelevant criminal history.
These impacts include social and economic exclusion and poor justice and health outcomes, all of which limit the capacity of Aboriginal Victorians to achieve self-determination.
The submission is the result of an extensive consultation process, and is intended to make the case for the following reforms in Victoria:
(1) the introduction of a legislated spent convictions scheme in Victoria, and
(2) an amendment to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) to prohibit discrimination against people on the basis of an irrelevant criminal record.
- provides specific examples of these impacts through detailed case studies
- develops a model for a spent convictions scheme and anti-discrimination protections based on extensive consultation with community
- calls on the Aboriginal Justice Forum to endorse the need for a legislated spent convictions scheme and anti-discrimination reforms to improve outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians
- asks the Aboriginal Justice Forum to note the 11 recommendations on the content of a spent convictions scheme and anti-discrimination protections developed in this submission, and
- requests that the Department of Justice and Regulation brief relevant Ministers seeking a commitment to proceed with these reforms as a matter of urgency.
This submission was emphatically endorsed at the 49th Aboriginal Justice Forum meeting in Swan Hill in December 2017.