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29. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason for the extreme delay in advancing the Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012; the reason the legal advice from the Attorney General pertaining to an ongoing legal case in the United Kingdom has been deemed sufficient to halt the legislative progress of the Bill, when the case in question would not be covered by the terms of the Bill as drafted; if she will outline a timeframe for the resumption of the Bill; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6972/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The current position is that the Bill has passed Committee Stage in the Dáil, having passed all stages in the Seanad. However, before the Bill could be taken at Report Stage, a 2013 UK Court of Appeal judgment necessitated a review of the disclosure provisions in both the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 and the Spent Convictions Bill. That review has been completed and amendments to the Vetting Act and consequential amendments to the Spent Convictions Bill are currently being drafted. I expect the amendments to be brought before the Oireachtas before the summer.
The UK Court of Appeal found that the UK policy of disclosing all criminal convictions was in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court found that disclosure of old minor criminal records should not be automatic but should instead be based on consideration of the relevance and proportionality of the conviction. The Attorney General has advised that similar considerations should apply to disclosure of criminal convictions in this State.