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.

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.

Spent Convictions Bill 2012 at Committee Stage

19th March 2013

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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...

Spent Convictions Bill welcomed but legislation could go further in reducing barriers to reintegration - IPRT

4th May 2012

MEDIA ADVISORY: IPRT has today broadly welcomed the publication of the 'Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012' as a very positive step in supporting the rehabilitation of offenders. However, some issues remain which must be resolved in order to get the balance right between public safety and reducing barriers to reintegration.

Sunday Independent: 'Bill will allow jobseekers to airbrush criminal records'

23rd October 2011

Writing in the 'Sunday Independent', Daniel McConnell reports on the forthcoming Spent Convictions Bill, which is "at an advanced stage of drafting, with only finer details left to be finalised."

Garda Vetting and CAO applications

7th September 2011

Over 225 college courses offered through the CAO require Garda Vetting; in the absence of Spent Convictions legislation, this can present a potential barrier to those who may have committed a minor offence, no matter how long ago.

Spent Convictions Bill 2011: Second Stage (Private Member's Bill)

7th June 2011

On 11th May 2011, Dara Calleary TD introduced a Private Member's Bill. The Spent Convictions Bill was previously published by Barry Andrews as a Private Members Bill in 2007. The Bill as reintroduced was debated at Second Stage on 7th/8th June, 2011.

Emergency Services Ireland: 'Redemption Withheld for Irish Prisoners'

20th May 2011

'Emergency Services Ireland' reports on IPRT's recent Public Forum on Spent Convictions

MEDIA ADVISORY: Fair and effective Spent Convictions legislation is crucial to allow Individuals a “second chance” to get on with their lives

11th May 2011

Press Release on 'Breaking the Record' our public forum on Spent Convictions legislation, which was held in Pearse St. Library yesterday.

What's the risk?Employing Young Adults with Criminal Convictions

11th May 2011

A new study published today has acknowledged businesses in the UK which are actively trying to improve opportunities for offenders to get back into employment.

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



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