Disclosure of Spent Convictions

Section 22 of the Spent Convictions Act 1988 provides that it is unlawful for an authority to refuse or revoke a qualification required for the practice of a profession on the grounds of a spent conviction. However, section 12 of Schedule 3 of the Spent Convictions Act 1988 confirms that applicants for admission to the legal profession, Australian lawyers and applicants for the grant or renewal of a local practising certificate are required to disclose a spent conviction to the Legal Practice Board and that conviction may be taken into account in considering whether the applicant is a fit and proper person. Additionally, if practitioners are handed a spent conviction during the practising certificate year they are required to disclose this to the Board under the applicable provisions of sections, 8, 51, 61 or 62 of the Legal Profession Act 2008.

The above effect extends to persons applying to become an Australian-registered foreign lawyer and Australian-registered foreign lawyers (see sections 8, 179 and 180 of the Legal Profession Act 2008).