Duncan Lewis

Legal Aid

Lawyers London

Enhanced criminal record reporting case to be heard in the Supreme Court

Date: (30 January 2013)    |    

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The Court of Appeal has ruled that enhanced criminal records checks enabling the police to give details of cautions and warnings to potential employers, was in breach of the persons human rights.

One such example involved a warning given to a man T’ who was a boy aged 11 over two stolen bicycles in another case an adult ‘JB’, was cautioned for shoplifting, was reported.

But in a third case the Appeal judges ruled that a women AW, who was involved in a violent car jacking as a teenager was too serious to be regarded as spent.
While delivering the judgment of the court on the application of T, JB and AW [2013] EWCA Civ 25, Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls, said that the court was willing to direct that its decision should not take effect until the matter was heard by the Supreme Court as the government had announced its intention to appeal.
Lord Dyson said the three judicial reviews challenged parts of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA), the ROA (Exceptions) Order 1975 and the Police Act 1997, on the grounds that they were incompatible with article 8 of the ECHR.
The respondents argued that under section 113B of the Police Act, enhanced criminal record certificates could be issued and include any information a chief police officer considered might be relevant.
T who was enrolled on a university sports studies course and because it involved contact with children the university obtained an enhanced, criminal records check, which revealed the warnings issued by the police when he was a boy.
JB who applied for a job in the care sector after attending a training course, was told by her job centre that she was not eligible to work with vulnerable people as her criminal records checks revealed her caution for shoplifting.
AW wanted to get a job in the army. Her conviction for manslaughter when she was 16 will never be ‘spent’ under existing rules because it resulted in a sentence of five years in detention.
Allowing T’s appeal, Lord Dyson said the court could not prescribe the solution that was to be adopted but he was entitled to a declaration of incompatibility in relation to the disclosure provisions of the 1997 Act and a declaration that the ROA Order was ultra vires the 1974 Act because that Act does not permit the making of regulations that breach article 8.”
The Master of the Rolls also allowed JB’s appeal and said that though she was an adult when she committed the offence same arguments of Ts case was to be applied to JB too as her offence was of trivial nature committed some eight years before she applied for a post working with vulnerable people.
However, AW’s appeal was dismissed, on the grounds that parliament was “entitled to take the view that some offences were so serious that they should never be regarded as ‘spent’.”

 

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