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.

UK: UNLOCK submission to Breaking the Cycle

4th March 2011

UNLOCK, the National Association of Reformed Offenders (UK), has just published its response to the Green Paper on 'Breaking the Cycle'. A number of UNLOCK's recommendations are of interest as Ireland moves towards passing similar legislation.

Election 2011: Are you committed to the Spent Convictions Bill?

15th February 2011

IPRT is putting four key questions to candidates in the run up to Election 2011. One critical question aims to secure a commitment from politicians to place priority on passing the Spent Convictions Bill in 2011.

The Sunday Business Post: Off the Record

21st November 2010

An article about John, an ex-offender who has turned his life around thanks to the Linkage programme, run by Business in the Community.

UK Campaign: Change the Record

21st October 2010

'Change the Record' is a new campaign to help ex-offenders back to work by tackling discriminatory practice and laws that prevent them finding a job. The campaign focuses on amending the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

UK: Tagged for Life - A research report into employer attitudes towards ex-offenders

9th October 2010

Leading specialist welfare to work provider Working Links has launched its research report, looking at employer attitudes towards ex-offenders.

Oireachtas Seminar on Reintegration of Offenders

2nd June 2010

A summary of IPRT's Oireachtas Seminar dealing with Spent Convictions, and other critical supports of the reintegration of offenders.

Spent Convictions Scheme report launched

15th May 2009

The report of the Spent Convictions Group was launched on Thursday, 14th May, at the Law Society, Blackhall Place, by Mr. John Lonergan, Governor of Mountjoy Prison.

IHRC: Observations on the Spent Convictions Bill 2007

30th April 2009

The IHRC considers that the Spent Convictions Bill 2007 is in line with Ireland’s commitment to rehabilitate and re-integrate offenders back into society. However, in applying the relevant human rights law to the 2007 Bill, the IHRC has identified a number of areas of concern.

Spent Convictions Bill to be Debated by Dail

17th December 2008

IPRT welcomes the introduction for second stage today in the Dáil of the Spent Convictions Bill 2007

IPRT Position Paper 2: Spent Convictions

20th November 2008

A Position Paper setting out IPRT's position on the proposal of a Spent Convictions Bill.

Law Reform Commission: Report on Spent Convictions

31st July 2007

Under current law, records of criminal convictions of adults are permanent; this Report examines whether some very old convictions might be looked on as being “spent” or no longer relevant for certain purposes.

IHRC: Extending the Scope of Employment Legislation-Criminal Convictions

1st May 2005

A contribution from the IHRC on the review of the Employment Equality Act. The document concerns discrimination in employment for those who are vulnerable in our society, with a section concerning those with criminal convictions.

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



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