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Disclosure in Enhanced Criminal Records Checks not a breach of ECHR Article 8

R (T) v (1) Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, (2) Secretary of State for the Home Department (Secretary of State for Justice an interested party) [2012] EWHC 147 (Admin)

A twenty year old applying for university challenged the requirement to disclose all prior convictions, cautions and warnings in Enhanced Criminal Records Checks.  The individual had received a warning for the theft of two bicycles when he was 11 but had had a clear record since then.  It was argued that the inflexible nature of the requirement to make such disclosures is in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention.

The judge had sympathy for the Applicant’s argument but was bound to rule that the requirement was compatible with Article 8 following the Supreme Court ruling in R (L) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2009] UKSC 3 [2010] 1 AC 41.  He did however grant leave to appeal and stated:

A system that allows no exceptions imposes a very heavy cost in terms of effect on the fundamental rights protected by Article 8 ECHR.  I am not persuaded that the marginal benefit that a system which admits no exceptions brings to, admittedly important, competing interests is justified as a matter of proportionality when the serious detrimental effects of such a system, particularly on child offenders, are weighed in the balance.

Read the judgment here and an overview on the Panopticon blog here.

Disclosure, ECHR Art. 8, Enhanced Criminal Records Checks