Stephensons Solicitors LLP acted for F in the Supreme Court case, for which judgment was handed down today (April 21st 2010).
F was 11 when he was found guilty of serious sexual offences against another child. He has now served his sentence but presently remains on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
The Supreme Court unanimously found today that a review mechanism should be put in place to provide individuals on the register with the opportunity of seeking de-registration.
Public law specialist, Mike Pemberton, an associate solicitor at Stephensons, said: “The Supreme Court has today upheld earlier decisions at the High Court and Court of Appeal that life long registration on the sex offenders register without any right of review breaches article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
“This case is important because it considers the rights of a child to mature and develop. At present, any child who commits an offence of this type is labelled for life with no consideration being given to the effect of growing older and learning important lessons from previous mistakes.
“The case does not argue that offenders should automatically be removed from the register but merely provides an opportunity for the risk they pose to be reviewed. The decision will give the authorities time to focus their attention on those that require more concentrated control.
“The need to monitor those who continue to pose a risk to others is not disputed and limited, valuable resources should be concentrated on such cases. This particular case relates to the possibility of those convicted at a very early age being able to demonstrate that they have matured, been rehabilitated, no longer pose a threat and should therefore be free of constraints to lead a peaceful, worthwhile and law abiding life.”
In a hearing in February 2010, the Secretary of State appealed against the decision of the Court of Appeal (which dismissed his appeal from the High Court) that life long registration of a child who committed an offence was incompatible with the right to privacy and family life provided under the European Convention.
To read the judgment in full please click the link below: