Irish Penal Reform Trust

Spent Convictions

Securing employment or training, and the ability to rebuild a life after committing an offence, is crucial to breaking the cycle of offending. Effective spent convictions legislation has a major role to play in removing barriers to the reintegration of former offenders and prisoners who have demonstrated that they have moved on from past offending behaviour.

For information on whether the Spent Convictions legislation signed into law in February and commenced end April 2016 applies to you, please see Citizens Information. If this does not answer your question, please contact the Department of Justice - contact details here.

With thanks to we have produced a short information video on Spent Convictions (for convictions received for offences committed over 18). We have also produced an easy-to-read information sheet on spent convictions.

For questions about the Garda Vetting 'Admin Filter', please contact the Garda Central Vetting Unit.

IPRT has been campaigning for robust and extensive Spent Convictions legislation to be introduced in Ireland since 2007. You can read all about our work and recent developments below.

Offences committed under age 18?

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.

With thanks to, we also have a short information video on Expungement of Convictions (for convictions received for offences committed under 18). We have also produced an easy-to-read information sheet on expungement of convictions.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 offers a good overview of the implications arising from the relevant case in the UK.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Respect for rights in the penal system with prison as a last resort.



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