Donegal TD urges public to comment on spent conviction laws

"Current spent convictions legislation is not fit for purpose " - Thomas Pringle TD

Donegal TD  urges public to comment on spent conviction laws

Independent TD , Thomas Pringle


Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, said current spent convictions legislation is not fit for purpose and is urging the public to have their say during a public consultation now taking place.

“I will be making my submission and calling for an unlimited amount of convictions to be considered spent, depending on the time, and the circumstances of that person’s life.

"This is significant because a spent conviction is one that a person no longer has to disclose, provided they meet the relevant criteria. Once a person has completed a sentence following a criminal conviction, they may need to disclose this in certain situations, and this can have a negative effect on employment prospects and other aspects of their life," he said.

He added the current spent convictions legislation is not fit for purpose because it is limited to one conviction and short sentences, does not take into account the length of time since offending and does not recognise specific youth justice issues.

“All of this means that there are people who may have had a period of offending in their youth, maybe related to addiction issues, for example, and then 30 or 40 years later they are still unable to get car insurance or some licences, unable to volunteer or get certain jobs.

“It is a really unfair system and totally out of line with international best practices. Senator Lynn Ruane brought forward the Criminal Justice (Rehabilitative Periods) Bill 2018 and this consultation will form part of the legislative process for that bill,” he said.

The public consultation on spent convictions is open until 12 noon on Friday, November 6. People can participate in the consultation by completing a short survey or by writing or e-mailing the department.

All details are at this link:
http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/Spent_Convictions_Consultation

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