IPRT - Irish Penal Reform Trust

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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.

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

Spent Convictions Bill 2012: FAQ 27th May 2013

IPRT is contacted by many people enquiring about different aspects of the Spent Convictions Bill, and what it will mean to them. Here are the most commonly asked questions + our responses. Read more

Spent Convictions Bill 2012: Order for Report, Report and Final Stages 25th March 2013

The Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Amendment Bill 2012 has stalled at Order for Report, Report and Final Stages. Read more

Spent Convictions Bill 2012 at Committee Stage 19th March 2013

The Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 is at Committee Stage this week. Read more

Lifelong punishment? Even a minor conviction can affect your insurance policy 6th February 2013

A criminal conviction, no matter how minor, can make it harder to get accepted for some types of insurance, or you may be charged higher rates when you declare your conviction. Read more

Spent Convictions Bill 2012 - Committee Stage 1st February 2013

On 30th January 2013, the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 returned to the Seanad at Committee Stage. A number of amendments were tabled. Read more

IPRT Submission on Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 29th January 2013 PDF documents

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

IHRC publishes its observations on Vetting Bill 10th October 2012

The IHRC has published its observations and recommendations on the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Bill 2012. Read more

Seanad debates Spent Convictions Bill 2012 14th June 2012

On 13th June 2012, the 'Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012' was introduced in the Seanad. Read more

IHRC calls for shorter rehabilitative periods in Spent Convictions Bill 11th June 2012

The Irish Human Rights Commission has published its Observations on the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012, stating that "the proposed legislation is overly restrictive and will not assist in re-integrating people convicted of minor offences back into society and employment." Read more

Spent Convictions Scheme for offences committed aged under 18 14th May 2012

In the course of our Spent Convictions campaign work, it has come to our attention that many people do not realise that a Spent Convictions scheme already exists for anyone who committed an offence before their eighteenth birthday. Here are the details... Read more

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