There've been quite a number of interesting reports over the past few weeks which I've been meaning to include in posts but am only getting around to now. The first one is the Law Reform Commission’s Report on Spent Convictions
Here's an extract from the press release:
"The Report sets out in detail the elements of the proposed spent convictions law and it also includes a draft Spent Convictions Bill to implement the Commission’s recommendations. The key elements include:
- the types of offences which should be excluded completely from the proposed law: (a) any offence triable by the Central Criminal Court, such as murder; (b) any sexual offence as defined in the Sex Offenders Act 2001; and (c) any other offence where a sentence of more than 6 months (including a suspended sentence) has been imposed in court;
- the length of time a person must be conviction-free to qualify for the conviction to be regarded as “spent”: 7 years from the date of conviction where a custodial sentence of up to 6 months is imposed; 5 years from the date of conviction where a non-custodial order is made, such as a fine or disqualification;
- all convictions, including spent convictions, would still be disclosed at a sentencing hearing and in some non-criminal cases such as involving access to children.
- The system would be automatic, rather than requiring the person to apply to court to have their conviction declared to be spent, as an application-based system would not be transparent and consistent."
Sample News Story:
Extending the Scope of Employment Equality Legislation
(The above report included a section on the criminal conviction / ex-offender / ex-prisoner ground.)
Updates 2008-9 - See also:
Spent Convictions Group, Proposals on a Rehabilitation of Offenders Bill
Spent Convictions Bill 2007
Irish Human Rights Commission, Observations on Spent Convitions Bill
Irish Penal Reform Trust Position Paper on Spent Convictions
Update May 2012:
A new Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 has been published.
Update July 2013:
See the recent Irish Times
article by Remy Farrell S.C. here