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Question

134. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the issue raised in correspondence (details supplied) regarding spent convictions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17090/15]

Answer

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Before the Spent Convictions Bill 2014 could be enacted, 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 intend to bring the amendments to the Bill before the Oireachtas as soon as possible with a view to commencing the Act by the summer. Pending the amendment of the Bill, an Administrative Filter for Garda Vetting Disclosures has been introduced, which provides that certain minor offences that are over 7 years old are no longer disclosed. This Administrative Filter already gives effect to the main provisions likely to be contained in the amended Bill.
The Bill currently provides that sexual offences or sentences of imprisonment of more than 12 months are excluded from the terms of the Bill.
For reasons of public safety it is not intended to introduce any amendment that would provide that convictions in respect of sexual offences or other convictions for serious offences will become spent.