Senior judges rule CRB checks are a breach of human rights

Michael Bow
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THE Court of Appeal yesterday ruled that the law forcing people to disclose all previous criminal convictions in job applications is a breach of human rights.

The court said legal requirements forcing people to reveal convictions turned up by a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check to prospective employers was not “compatible” with article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

A draft judgment handed down yesterday said CRB checks could prevent a person’s right to a family life and private life.

“As a conviction recedes into the past, it becomes part of the individual’s private life,” it said.

It follows a case brought by a 21 year old man who was forced to disclose to his university and future employer that he had been handed two police warnings over bicycle thefts at the age of 11.

Lord Dyson, a senior judge who helped make the ruling, said: “It is extraordinary that nothing has been done.

“The government needs to pull its finger out and introduce legislation.”

The Home Office said it was “disappointed” by the ruling and intended to appeal at the Supreme Court.

Human rights group Liberty cheered the decision.

Legal officer Corinna Ferguson said: “This sensible judgment requires the government to introduce a more nuanced system for disclosing this type of sensitive personal data to employers.

“For too long irrelevant and unreliable information provided under the blanket CRB system has blighted people’s lives.”

CRB checks, which can be costly to have done, are often required by employers before a job offer is made to a candidate.