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Spent Convictions

There is currently no legislation in Ireland providing for the expungement of criminal convictions. Ireland is the only country in the EU and one of the only countries in the Council of Europe area to not have such ‘second chance’ legislation*.

Securing employment or training, and the ability to rebuild a life after committing an offence, is crucial to breaking the cycle of offending. Enacting effective spent convictions legislation could remove many existing barriers to the successful reintegration of former offenders and prisoners.

For updates on the progress of Spent Convictions legislation, see below.

IPRT is campaigning hard to make sure that robust and extensive Spent Convictions legislation is enacted at the earliest opportunity.

Can you help us by contacting your TDs as part of our Spent Convictions campaign? Contact Fiona at: communications@iprt.ie

*Under Section 258 of the Children Act 2001, offences committed by those under eighteen years of age can be expunged from the record once certain conditions are met. See here.

New Directions:Understanding and Improving Employment Pathways in Youth Justice 14th July 2015

This paper aims to provide an insightful perspective into youth justice policy and practice in Northern Ireland with a focus on designing interventions to aid desistance. Read more

Irish Times: Bill aims to wipe the slate clean on certain convictions 6th July 2015

Chairperson of IPRT, Prof Michael O'Flaherty, on spent convictions as a human rights issue. Read more

Report on Rehabilitation & desistance recommendations for Spent Convictions. 1st April 2015

The Winston Churchhill Memorial Trust has published a report which compares European Countries responses to protection, deletion and expungement of Criminal Records. Read more

Spent Convictions Bill to be enacted by summer 2015? 10th March 2015

In response to a question by Senator Ivana Bacik, the Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald TD has stated that she hopes the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill will be enacted before summer 2015. Read more

Survey on Living with Convictions 6th February 2015

In January 2015, IPRT conducted a short survey on the impact of having a criminal record in Ireland. Read more

IPRT Submission on Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 5th February 2015 PDF documents

IPRT has updated its submission, including suggested amendments, on the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012. Read more

Oireachtas Seminar on Spent Convictions Bill 5th February 2015

The eighth seminar for the All Party Oireachtas Penal Reform Group of TDs and Senators discussed the need to pass the Spent Convictions Bill without further delay. Read more

Arthur Cox: Potential Impact of UK Supreme Court Judgment on Vetting 9th January 2015

As we wait for the Spent Convictions Bill to return to the Oireachtas (having stalled at Report Stage 21 months ago, March 2013) an article on ArthurCox.com offers a good overview of the implications arising from the relevant case in the UK. Read more

IPRT Briefing: Spent Convictions 8th January 2015

A short document outlining the current situation with regard to spent convictions and why enacting legislation is so important. Read more

Changes to Garda Vetting 11th June 2014

Since 31st March 2014, an ‘administrative filter’ has been in place whereby certain information is no longer included on Garda Vetting forms. Read more

Changes to be made to Garda Vetting 27th March 2014

The Minister for Justice has announced changes to be made to Garda vetting which will see "certain minor offences that are more than seven years old, where the person has not subsequently reoffended" no longer disclosed in vetting information. Read more

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. Read more

The Guardian, ''Ban the Box' campaign asks employers to give ex-offenders a chance' 22nd October 2013

The Guardian reports that UK Business-lead charity ‘Business in the Community’ has begun a campaign to get employers to remove the box on job applications that requires disclosure of an applicant’s prior convictions. Read more

The Irish Times - legal analysis 8th July 2013

In a legal analysis piece published in today's Irish Times, Remy Farrell SC outlines issues of proportionality and clarity around the Spent Convictions Bill 2012. Read more

Breaking the Record - Moving On? 12th June 2013

It was a packed house for the IPRT information seminar on Spent Convictions and Garda Vetting, which took place on Tues 12th June, 2013 in Pearse St Library, Dublin 2. Read more