Supreme Court judgment upholds decision that blanket disclosure of all convictions and cautions is incompatible with human rights
The Supreme Court has today handed down an important Judgment on DBS (formerly known as CRB) records.
In a case put forward by Howells Solicitors of Sheffield along with another case, it was argued that the system which required automatic, blanket disclosure of all convictions and cautions to certain employers was incompatible with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act – the right to family life.
Following the Judgment given in January 2013 by the Court of Appeal that granted a declaration of incompatibility, the government took action to introduce emergency legislation and since May 2013 there is now a system to filter out minor convictions and some cautions from being disclosed automatically on a DBS certificate.
The result means that people who had previously been unable to get work due to previous cautions or even for minor offences committed many years ago will be more likely to secure employment.
The government appealed the Court of Appeal judgment to the Supreme Court and the hearing took place in December 2013. The Supreme Court upheld the grant of the declaration of incompatibility in relation to how the original DBS system had been operating.
Peter Mahy, Managing Partner of Howells Solicitors in Sheffield said; “The way the system of CRB disclosure was operating brought misery to people trying to put matters behind them and secure employment. A more focused and proportionate system is likely to achieve a fairer result particularly for those who were unable to get work due to a previous caution for a minor offence committed many years ago. We are delighted that he Supreme Court has found in our favour.”