Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

Categories: Age of criminal responsibility and Children in conflict with the law

12th August 2015

This consultation paper sets out specific proposals to reform the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 to allow more people with previous criminal activity to be able to move away from their past offending behaviour and to reduce the length of time most people will have to disclose their previous criminal activity.

The public and stakeholders consider that the current Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not get the balance right between protecting the public and enabling those people with previous criminal activity to enter the workforce.

In particular, it is considered that some people who currently have to disclose for the rest of their life should have protection under the Act so that they no longer have to disclose for the rest of their life and the periods of time for which individuals must disclose previous criminal activity are, in general, too long.

This consultation paper sets out specific proposals to allow more people with previous criminal activity to be able to move away from their past offending behaviour and to reduce the length of time most people will have to disclose their previous criminal activity.

The purpose of this consultation paper is to gather views from individuals, employers, public bodies and all other interested stakeholders in relation to the proposed changes to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 set out in this paper.

The deadline for responses is 12 August 2015.

Together's State of Children's Rights 2014 report highlights that the age of criminal responsibility currently remains one of the lowest in Europe. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has recommended that the age of criminal responsibility is raised in line with international best practice.

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