The Supreme Court are due to hear the case of P and Others v Secretary of State for Justice following an appeal by the Secretary of State.
The case involves a number of individuals who have been subject to criminal record disclosure and are left in a situation where continuous disclosure of their previous offences will occur despite the introduction of the filtering regime.
The filtering regime came in following the case of T v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester in which Stephensons acted.
It provided that minor convictions would be filtered along with cautions as long as :
- There is no more than one conviction
- A period of imprisonment had not been imposed
- The offence was not one specified in a list of offences which would never be filtered
The cases before the Supreme Court today have been successful at the High Court and Court of Appeal. The Secretary of State has appealed to the Supreme Court and does not accept the findings of the previous courts that the filtering regime still breaches the right to privacy. The regime was brought in to rectify the breach of the right to privacy and family life identified in the case of T.
Stephensons have acted on behalf of 'A' in the current case. 'A' was convicted of two minor offences at the ages of 17 and 18 and subsequently went on to enjoy a successful career in the finance sector.
The High Court upheld 'A'’s claim that his right to privacy was breached by the fact that the two minor convictions would never be filtered because there was more than one.
The Secretary of State appealed and the case was considered by the Court of Appeal in May 2017. 'A'’s case was stayed at the Court of Appeal and awaits the outcome of the other cases being argued at the Supreme Court following the Secretary of State’s appeal at the Court of Appeal being dismissed.
A’s solicitor, Mike Pemberton said:
“We look forward to the issue of filtering being resolved by the Supreme Court in order to provide some closure to this matter. My client 'A' will be monitoring the proceedings with interest. His case was stayed at the Court of Appeal because my client’s concerns over the potential exposure to costs given the case was proceeding on what was a clear trajectory to the Supreme Court.
We therefore await the outcome of the Supreme Court in order to resolve this matter in due course.
The outcome will have a direct effect on 'A'’s case. If the appeal is dismissed then 'A'’s case will remain successfully argued and may then hopefully be resolved by consent.
These cases reflect the clear need to apply common sense to a situation in which minor offences from many many years ago continue to effect the livelihood and right to move on in one’s life following a misdemeanour committed when a much younger person”.
The case is listed for three days 19th – 21st June and it is likely judgment will be reserved.