Annulments of Local Court Convictions or Sentences

In New South Wales, the criminal law allows a conviction or sentence to be reconsidered in certain circumstances. The primary way this happens is through an appeal to a court. Apart from an appeal, a conviction or sentence may be reviewed in New South Wales under the procedures set out in the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001.
In February 2007, Part 7 was added to the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001. These provisions allow the NSW Governor to direct an inquiry into a particular conviction or sentence. The provisions of Part 7 also allows the Attorney General to refer a matter to the Court of Criminal Appeal to be dealt with as an appeal (even if an appeal has been heard previously).
The procedures available under Part 7 of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001 are only used in more exceptional circumstances. A petition or application will be considered where all appeal avenues have been exhausted but a person still asserts his or her innocence and is able to bring forward fresh material which was unavailable at the time of the trial or appeal and has not been previously considered by the court.
If you were not present when the conviction or sentence was imposed, you can apply to the Local Court for an annulment under section 4 of the Crimes (Appeal and Review) Act 2001. An application under section 4 can only be made within two years of the date of the conviction or sentence. If the Court grants an annulment, the conviction or sentence imposed in your absence will need to be considered again by the Court, and you will then have the opportunity to be present. To apply, or for more information about how to apply, you should contact the Local Court that recorded the conviction or sentence.


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