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August 21 2018

Criminal Record Checks Could Infringe Human Rights

The current criminal records check system, which is used by employers when hiring for certain roles, disproportionately damages the chances of those with minor offences, according to a case currently being heard by the country's top court.

The government is appealing a May 2017 Court of Appeal decision, which held that Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for individuals with multiple convictions and certain specified offences were contradictory to people's right to private and family life under article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Following a 2013 Court of Appeal decision, the government introduced a filter which meant single convictions for certain offences for which the person was not given a custodial sentence would not be revealed to employers, provided the conviction was spent. However, this filter does not apply to people with more than one conviction, regardless of the nature of the crimes.

Judgment is expected to be reserved, meaning it will be delivered at some point in the future, rather than straight after the hearing.