Sex Offenders Register (ACT)

The Crimes (Child Sex Offenders) Act 2005 in the ACT mandates that individuals convicted and sentenced for specific sexual offences against children must be listed on a Sex Offenders Register and adhere to regular police reporting requirements. The main objectives of this register are to decrease the possibility of further offences being committed, aid in the investigation and prosecution of crimes, prevent offenders from obtaining jobs involving contact with children, and restrict offenders from engaging in activities that could endanger the lives or sexual well-being of children. This page deals with the Sex Offenders Register in the ACT.

Who must register on the Sex Offenders Register?

A person must register on the Sex Offenders Register in the ACT if they are classified as a “registrable offender.” A person is a ‘registrable offender’ if they have been sentenced for a registrable offence, are subject to a child sex offender registration order, or are a prescribed corresponding offender.

A registrable offence may be a Class 1 or 2 offence, or an offence that results in a sex offender registration order. Class 1 offences encompass crimes such as child murder and sexual intercourse with a child, while Class 2 offences involve indecent acts, child abuse material, child kidnapping, child prostitution, and child grooming. A prescribed corresponding offender is a foreign individual who is required to register in their home jurisdiction.

In cases where a court determines that a person who has not committed a Class 1 or Class 2 offence but poses a threat to the sexual safety of someone in the community, the court may issue an order mandating inclusion in the register. Such a directive may only be granted upon police request.

Exemptions from registration

In the ACT, there are certain exemptions to the requirement of registration for registrable offenders. A person who committed a registrable offence when they were a child or a person whose inclusion on the register would be deemed inappropriate by the court fall under this category.

Before granting an exemption, the court must consider several factors, including:

  • the severity and circumstances of the offence;
  • the age of the offender at the time of the offence;
  • the extent of harm inflicted on the victim and the community;
  • any rehabilitation efforts;
  • the potential threat posed to individuals’ lives and sexual safety in the community; and
  • any other relevant factors.

What details are recorded on the Sex Offenders Registry?

In the ACT, the Sex Offenders Register requires a range of identifying details for each registrable offender. The register must contain the offender’s name, any other identifiable information, details of each Class 1, 2 or 3 offence they have been charged with or have been found guilty of, and information on any past offences that led to a sex offender registration order.

The register must also include the date of sentencing and release from custody for any registrable offence and any relevant reporting obligations. Any other information deemed relevant must also be included in the register.

Reporting requirements

Registrable offenders must report within seven days of being sentenced or within seven days of being released from prison, whichever is later.

During a person’s first report, they must provide personal information, including their name, date of birth, address of residence, employer’s details, and any affiliation with clubs or organizations involving children. Additionally, they must report details of their past sex offender registration orders, tattoos or distinguishing marks, phone number or email address, online identities, and any intended regular travel.

Registrable offenders must report their personal information annually, and any changes to their information must be reported to the police within seven days, or within 24 hours if it relates to living with or having regular unsupervised contact with a child. If a registrable offender intends to leave the ACT for seven or more consecutive days to travel in Australia or overseas, they must notify the police and provide their details.

The duration of a person’s inclusion on the register starts from the time of their conviction or release from imprisonment for the offence. The length of time a person must stay on the register depends on the type of offence they committed. A person found guilty of a single Class 2 offence must remain on the register for eight years, while two or more Class 1 offences require lifelong reporting.

Failure to follow reporting requirements

A registrable offender must comply with reporting obligations, unless they have a reasonable excuse. When evaluating whether a person has a reasonable excuse, the court considers their age, any disability that affects their ability to understand or fulfill obligations, whether they were adequately informed of their responsibilities, and any other relevant circumstances. The maximum penalty for failing to comply with reporting obligations is a fine of 500 penalty units ($80,000), imprisonment for five years, or both.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.


Michelle Makela

Michelle Makela is a Legal Practice Director at Go To Court Lawyers. She holds a Juris Doctor, a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and a Master of Criminology. She was admitted to practice in 2006. Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning. 
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