Advancing human rights and equality
through public interest litigation

Email  Twitter

Supreme Court affirms the need for filtering of old and minor convictions

On 18th June the Supreme Court upheld an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal that certain past minor cautions and convictions should not be disclosed in criminal records checks.

The case involved two job applicants.  One had to disclose two police cautions he had received at the age of 11 in connection with two stolen bikes when he applied for a part-time job in a football club and when he enrolled in an university course.  The other, who was cautioned as an adult for theft of a packet of false fingernails, had to reveal the caution eight years later when she applied for a job in a care home.  Both were refused the jobs because of the cautions. 

Last year the Court of Appeal ruled that the blanket disclosure of all cautions and convictions could breach the right to a private and family life.  This led to the government introducing a system to filter out certain single minor convictions and cautions.  However, the government pursued the appeal stating that the ‘protection of children and vulnerable groups must not be compromised.’ 

This ruling by the Supreme Court effectively rubber stamps the need for such a filtering system.  To read further commentary from the charity, Unlock, please click here.

Criminal Law, Disclosure, Enhanced Criminal Records Checks, Rights of Offenders