Former Magistrate Melanie Bartlett has been appointed to lead an independent review of the operation of the Expungement of Historical Offences Act 2017.

The Act, which commenced on 9 April 2018, provides a scheme enabling the expungement of charges and convictions for historical homosexual and cross-dressing offences.

It allows a person charged with a historical offence to make a confidential application to the Secretary of the Department of Justice to have a relevant charge or conviction removed from their criminal record.

The Tasmanian Government introduced the scheme as an important step forward in addressing previous laws that were unfair and unjust for many people in the community who endured disadvantage, discrimination and stigma.

The legislation included a requirement for the Minister to cause an independent review of the operation of the Act after the second anniversary of the Act’s commencement.

The review will report on the implementation of the Act and assess whether it is operating effectively and as intended.

It will include public and targeted consultation, and a call for submissions from stakeholder representative groups.

Ms Bartlett was a full-time Magistrate based in the North-West from 2009 to 2015 and had previously served as a temporary Magistrate from 2005.

Ms Bartlett has also served as a member of the Mental Health Tribunal, the Guardianship and Administration Board, the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal and the Legal Aid Commission, as well as serving as President and Vice-President of the Law Society of Tasmania.

Women’s Legal Service Solicitor Taya Ketelaar-Jones will be assisting Ms Bartlett with the review.

Elise Archer, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice