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Court of Appeal upholds decision on criminal records disclosure scheme

R (o.t.a P & others) v. Secretary of State for the Home Department & others [2017] EWCA Civ 321

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales has upheld an earlier ruling that the criminal records disclosure scheme was disproportionate and in breach of privacy rights under Article 8 ECHR

The earlier court ruling had found that the inclusion of all criminal offences, regardless of their nature or time elapsed since conviction, on criminal records certificates was unlawful.  In one case before the court a man had only one conviction of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in the 1980s when he was 16 years old.  At the age of 47 he wanted to teach English as a second language.  The High Court judge stated

“It is difficult to see how publication of this detail, 31 years on, is relevant to the risk of the public, or proportionate and necessary in a democratic society.”

Christopher Stacey, Co-director of Unlock, a charity for people with convictions, said

“We’re delighted with the Court of Appeal’s ruling…which stands to affect many thousands of people with old or minor criminal records.’

Further commentary from Unlock can be read here.

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Prisoners' Rights