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Advice in relation to the Spent Convictions Bill 2007

The Spent Convictions Bill, 2007 was introduced as a private members bill by Barry Andrews TD on 25 October 2007 and follows on from a previous, similar private members bill (the Rehabilitation of Offenders Bill, 2007) which fell at the first stage in Dáil Éireann. In essence, the legislative purpose behind the Spent Convictions Bill, 2007 is to alleviate the obligation on certain qualifying persons to disclose minor offences.

The Bill was forwarded by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to the Ombudsman for Children’s Office on 21 January 2008 for consideration on a general level and on a specific level with regard to four principal issues: whether the threshold for an “excluded sentence” of 6 months imprisonment is too low; whether the list of “excluded employments” is too wide or too narrow; whether the other categories of “excluded sentence” are appropriate; and whether the “relevant rehabilitation periods” are appropriate. This advice was returned on 10 March 2008.