IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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Spent Convictions: legislation to be passed within first half of 2014?

10th February 2014

Recent statements by the Minister for Justice in the Dáil suggest the Spent Convictions Bill may be passed by summer 2014:

  1. The review of the compatibility of the Vetting Bureau Act 2012 with the European Convention on Human Rights has been completed.
  2. The Minister intends that all stages of the Spent Convictions legislation will be completed during the first half of 2014.
  3. Certain old minor convictions will no longer need to be disclosed under the Vetting Bureau Act 2012.

IPRT has long been campaigning for legislation whereby certain convictions should become spent following a set rehabilitative period. Currently Ireland is the only country in the EU where no such legislation exists, the absence of which amounts to life-long punishment for even the most minor convictions.

For more details, see the following Dáil responses by the Minister for Justice:

  • http://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2014-02-05a.5: “Elements of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 relating to the disclosure of convictions are under review at present having regard to a recent judgment of the UK Court of Appeal. I intend bringing proposals before the Oireachtas to provide that certain old minor convictions will not be disclosed under the provisions of the 2012 Act.”
  • http://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2014-01-15a.1572: “The Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 provides generally that a person may not be required to disclose a conviction that is spent under the Bill. In the context of insurance, the only exception is where the conviction is in respect of fraud, deceit or dishonesty in relation to an insurance claim.”

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