Criminals, Data Protection and the Right to a Second Chance

(2017) 58 Irish Jurist (ns) 27

37 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2018

See all articles by T. J. McIntyre

T. J. McIntyre

UCD Sutherland School of Law

Ian O'Donnell

Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin

Date Written: September 6, 2017

Abstract

In 2016 Ireland belatedly introduced legislation to allow for the expungement of adult criminal records and, in doing so, highlighted a changing technological and legal context which challenges the assumptions underlying rehabilitation laws. The potential impact of convictions on individuals’ life chances has increased as mandatory vetting has become more widespread. Even where vetting is not required, internet search engines render criminal histories easily accessible to curious third parties. In the other direction, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) have developed privacy and data protection principles which require states to limit the availability of information about old convictions. In this article we outline the limitations of the Irish legislation and use it as a case study to consider these wider issues, examining how it illustrates the growing importance of European privacy and data protection norms in national criminal justice and rehabilitation systems.

Keywords: spent convictions, rehabilitation, data protection, privacy, criminal records

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

McIntyre, T. J. and O'Donnell, Ian, Criminals, Data Protection and the Right to a Second Chance (September 6, 2017). (2017) 58 Irish Jurist (ns) 27. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3150591

T. J. McIntyre (Contact Author)

UCD Sutherland School of Law ( email )

University College Dublin
Belfield
Dublin 4
Ireland

Ian O'Donnell

Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin ( email )

Belfield
Dublin 4
Ireland

HOME PAGE: http://www.ucd.ie/criminol

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