Spent convictions in the law of Privacy and Data Protection: Part One – Aidan Wills

“Once a conviction is spent, there are two evidentiary consequences for the purposes of legal proceedings:

(1) no evidence is admissible in any proceedings to prove that the person committed/was charged with/prosecuted/convicted/sentenced for the offence(s) which was subject of the spent conviction;

(2) the rehabilitated person cannot be asked (and is not required to answer) any questions about her past which cannot be answered without referring to a spent conviction(s) “or any circumstances ancillary thereto.” This includes the conduct constituting the offences.

There is an extensive list of exceptions to the general position on spent convictions. Set out in and governed by the Rehabilitation of Offenders (Exceptions) Order 1974 (as amended), these exceptions relate primarily to applications by rehabilitated persons for employment or appointments in certain sectors. These are not relevant for present purposes.”

Inforrm's Blog

spent-convictionsReferences to individuals’ criminal histories are commonplace in news reporting, works of non-fiction and on social media. Unwittingly or otherwise, this may include details of spent convictions and the conduct which gave rise to them.

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