Criminal records: Supreme Court victory for man forced to reveal childhood caution to prospective employer

Justices ruled that the requirement to reveal had been a breach of the man's right to private life

A man forced to reveal a childhood police caution for cycle theft to a prospective employer has won a human rights fight in the Supreme Court.

Five Supreme Court justices ruled that the requirement to reveal had been a breach of the man's right to private life, following a hearing in London.

Home Secretary Theresa May - and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling - asked Supreme Court justices to consider whether disclosure requirements were compatible with human rights legislation following rulings in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Three appeal judges had said legislation requiring job applicants to disclose all convictions was a breach of human rights law.

And the Supreme Court upheld that decision today.

Three Court of Appeal judges had said that provisions of two pieces of legislation were incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights - which enshrines the right to private and family life.

Mrs May and Mr Grayling introduced amendments in the wake of the Court of Appeal ruling.

But they maintained that the appeal court decision was wrong.

And their lawyers had asked for a Supreme Court ruling so that the "correct position" could be established.

A High Court judge had initially ruled in favour of the Home Office but that decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Judges had been asked for rulings after campaigners called for reform of blanket provisions requiring applicants to disclose all convictions and cautions.

Lawyers representing a man who had applied for a part-time job with a football club and then for a university sports studies course had launched the case in the High Court.

They complained that police warnings he received following the theft of two bikes when he was 11 had been unreasonably disclosed when he made the applications years later.

The issue hit the headlines a decade ago following the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman - both 10 - in Soham, Cambridgeshire. School caretaker Ian Huntley was convicted of murdering the girls.

Education authority officials said they had not been aware of the full extent of Huntley's past involvement with police - and the case led to procedures being tightened.

Lawyers for Mrs May and Mr Grayling argued that the appeal court ruling was too broad and "surprising".

They said the ruling could affect hundreds of thousands of recruitment decisions where convictions were "plainly relevant".

And they said future policy should be "informed" by a Supreme Court decision.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission welcomed today's ruling.

Rebecca Hilsenrath, chief legal officer for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: "This judgment sensibly recognises, as did the Court of Appeal, that people should not be haunted forever by minor childhood offences, in a way which might prevent them from becoming productive members of society and from engaging in their chosen field of employment.

"A warning given for a relatively trivial offence committed many years ago by a child, who has not re-offended, has no relevance to how that person could be safely employed to work as an adult.

"The Government has already acted to rectify problems identified in the 1997 Police Act. We will be monitoring the operation of the new 'filtering' mechanism to assess whether any particular individuals are disadvantaged."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project and Quality Manager

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Executive - OTE £20,625

£14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...

Guru Careers: Financial Controller

£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

Recruitment Genius: Fertility Nurse

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join the ho...

Day In a Page

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'
Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals

Singapore's hidden secret of domestic worker abuse

David Cameron was shown the country's shiniest veneer on his tour. What he didn't see was the army of foreign women who are routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals
Showdown by Shirley Jackson: A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic

Showdown, by Shirley Jackson

A previously unpublished short story from the queen of American Gothic
10 best DSLRs

Be sharp! 10 best DSLRs

Up your photography game with a versatile, powerful machine
Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash