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The Supreme Court today ruled on the legality of Enhanced Criminal Record Certificates for cautions and  upheld the Court of Appeal decision that declared the 1997 Police Act incompatible wit the Article 8 right to privacy

R (On the application of T and another) (Respondents) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and another (Appellants)
This is an important decision from the Supreme Court. T was warned (cautioned) at the age of 11 for theft of two bicycles.  JB was cautioned at the age of 41 in 2001 in respect of theft from a shop of a packet of false fingernails. Both subsequently wished to work with children and needed to obtain  Enhanced Criminal Record Certificates [ECRCs] which were introduced by the Police Act of 1997. Neither had any other criminal convictions or cautions.

Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 a caution or warning is treated as spent as soon as it is administered. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 expempted specified professions and employment, and to working with children and young adults from the impact of convictions and cautions being spent.. T and JB both argued successfully that this blanket approach to restricting employment opportunities because of the disclosure of the cautions in their ECRCs violated the respect for private life under Article 8 of the ECHR.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department has already made amendment orders designed to eliminate the problems identified by the Court of Appeal.