Q&As

What is the approach to be taken when challenging a spent criminal conviction in public children care proceedings in relation to contact, with reference to relevant case law?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk and Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 18/09/2017

The following Family Q&A produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk and Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is the approach to be taken when challenging a spent criminal conviction in public children care proceedings in relation to contact, with reference to relevant case law?

What is the approach to be taken when challenging a spent criminal conviction in public children care proceedings in relation to contact, with reference to relevant case law?

A spent conviction is a conviction which, pursuant to the provisions of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA 1974), is treated as being ignored, for many purposes (such as employment) after a specified period of time. That period is established based upon the sentence given, rather than the offence. The legislative purpose behind ROA 1974 is to provide that, for most purposes, the fact of a criminal conviction should not unduly affect the offender once a period of rehabilitation has passed. Ordinarily in the scope of many court proceedings, the fact of the spent conviction need not be disclosed.

A spent criminal conviction will not show up on a basic criminal record check, but would be revealed by the basic or enhanced criminal record check that would be carried out by the local authority initiating the care proceedings.

In a public law Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989) case, there are a number of relevant parties, including in particular the father and the mother. Either parent may have

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