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Finding housing and employment becomes extraordinarily difficult for those placed on a sex offender register.I have acted for many clients over the past decade who find themselves unable to live in accommodation because there are children living in the same apartment block.“Magistrate Ron Saines said if he was hearing the matter, he would have reasonable doubt, citing ‘cultural differences’ as one factor, which would result in the charges being dismissed.” Jaffari is “an Afghan refugee, was convicted in Geelong Magistrates’ Court on August 22, 2013, of indecently assaulting one boy and attempting to indecently assault another.” Jaffari explained: “For us is not an issue.” Nor will it be an issue for Australia much longer, if people like Ron Saines prevail.

But fortunately the tide might be beginning to turn, particularly around historic offences.

The notion that a person who is convicted of a sex offence that occurred 30 or 40 years ago should be placed on a register today and be subject to the hardship it imposes is palpably unjust.

In 2008 the US Department of Justice published a study it had commissioned on the impact of the first sex offender register in that country, which was established in New Jersey in 1994 and is colloquially known as "Megan's Law", after the name of the victim in a particularly horrific child sex case.

The study found that "Megan's Law showed no demonstrable effect in reducing sexual re-offenses".

The result of this decision is that about 1200 individuals who are currently on the Maryland sex offender register will have their names removed.

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