The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by the government against a human rights ruling won by people who claim their lives and careers have been tarnished by the disclosure of minor criminal acts following criminal records checks when applying for jobs.
The judges found a revised criminal records disclosure scheme was "disproportionate" in certain respects. These were, the requirement that all previous convictions should be disclosed, however minor, where the person has more than one conviction, and also in the case of warnings and reprimands issued to young offenders.
Commenting on today’s judgement, Mike Pemberton, a partner and head of human rights at Stephensons, said:
“Having been involved in cases referenced in today’s judgment, I welcome the findings that the filtering of previous convictions and cautions still fails to provide adequate safeguards to individuals in respect of their right to rehabilitation and their ability to move on with their lives.
"This is especially important, as was recognised by the Lordships, in respect of the rights of warnings or reprimands given to young offenders.
“In effect, the decision makes an important distinction between minor offences (both in respect of lack of seriousness and the age of the offender) and more serious types of offence where public protection requires disclosure of the matter.”