The defendants had been convicted and sentenced for offences which under the 2003 Act would mean that they stayed permanently on the Sex Offenders’ register without possibility of a review. The Secretary of State appealed aganst a finding that the absence of a review was incompatible with their article 8 rights.
Held: The appeal failed. It was a question of proportionality. The requirements to notify addresses and report were infringements of the respondents’ article 8 rights. The court asked, to what extent it was an infringement, how vauable was the regime in the pursuit of a legitimate aim, and whether the success of the arrangement was dependent on the absence of a review system.
Where, given an opportunity, a defendant could satisfy the authorities that there was no need for a continued registration, there was no purpose served by a continued registration, and its associated infringements. There were already systems in place and relied on for the review of sex offenders, and therefore a system of review was practicable.
Lord Phillips said: ‘it is obvious that there must be some circumstances in which an appropriate tribunal could reliably conclude that the risk of an individual carrying out a further sexual offence can be discounted to the extent that continuance of notification requirements is unjustified. As the courts below have observed, it is open to the legislature to impose an appropriately high threshold for review. Registration systems for sexual offenders are not uncommon in other jurisdictions. Those acting for the first respondent have drawn attention to registration requirements for sexual offenders in France, Ireland, the seven Australian States, Canada, South Africa and the United States. Almost all of these have provisions for review. This does not suggest that the review exercise is not practicable.’
Lord Phillips (President), Lord Hope (Deputy President), Lord Rodger, Lady Hale, Lord Clarke
 WLR (D) 98,  UKSC 17,  2 WLR 992,  1 AC 331,  2 All ER 707, (2010) 113 BMLR 209, 113 BMLR 209
SC, SC Summ, Bailii, WLRD
Sexual Offences Act 2003 82, European Convention on Human Rughts 8
England and Wales
Cited – De Freitas v The Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Lands and Housing and others PC 30-Jun-1998
(Antigua and Barbuda) The applicant was employed as a civil servant. He joined a demonstration alleging corruption in a minister. It was alleged he had infringed his duties as a civil servant, and he replied that the constitution allowed him to . .
Appeal From – JF and Another, Regina (On the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 23-Jul-2009
The claimants complained of the system under which they had been placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely with no ability to have the registration reviewed. They said that this interfered with their right to respect for their private and . .
Cited – Huang v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 21-Mar-2007
Appellate Roles – Human Rights – Families Split
The House considered the decision making role of immigration appellate authorities when deciding appeals on Human Rights grounds, against refusal of leave to enter or remain, under section 65. In each case the asylum applicant had had his own . .
At first Instance – F and Another, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department QBD 19-Dec-2008
The defendants each complained that being placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely was a disproportionate interference with their rights for private and family life, and under European law.
Held: A declaration of incompatibility was . .
Cited – Stubbings and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 22-Oct-1996
There was no human rights breach where the victims of sex abuse had been refused a right to sue for damages out of time. The question is whether and to what extent differences in otherwise similar situations justify a different treatment in law: . .
Cited – Ibbotson v United Kingdom ECHR 1998
While the applicant was serving a sentence for possession of obscene material, the 1997 Act came into force, requiring him to register with the police. It was argued that the passing of the Act and its impact on the offender involved a ‘penalty’ . .
Cited – Bouchacourt v France ECHR 17-Dec-2009
The applicant had been sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for rape and sexual assault on minors. His name had been placed automatically on a Register of Sexual and Violent Offenders, and had had to confirm his address every year and to give notice . .
Cited – Marper v United Kingdom; S v United Kingdom ECHR 4-Dec-2008
(Grand Chamber) The applicants complained that on being arrested on suspicion of offences, samples of their DNA had been taken, but then despite being released without conviction, the samples had retained on the Police database.
Held: . .
Cited – Adamson v The United Kingdom ECHR 26-Jan-1999
The Court reached the following conclusion as to the purpose of the notification requirements for sex offenders: ‘the purpose of the measures in question is to contribute towards a lower rate of reoffending in sex offenders, since a person’s . .
Cited – Massey v United Kingdom ECHR 8-Apr-2003
The applicant complained that there was no ‘assessment or review’ of the necessity for his sex offender registration. . .
Cited – Gallagher, Re an Application By for Judicial Review QBNI 9-Apr-2003
The applicant had been convicted of offences of indecent assault. He contended that the notification requirements of the 1997 Act infringed his rights under Article 8.
Held: The court rejected the claim: ‘The task of deciding whether the . .
Cited – Wilson v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry; Wilson v First County Trust Ltd (No 2) HL 10-Jul-2003
The respondent appealed against a finding that the provision which made a loan agreement completely invalid for lack of compliance with the 1974 Act was itself invalid under the Human Rights Act since it deprived the respondent of its property . .
Cited – A v The Scottish Ministers and Others, Re Application for Judicial Review SCS 27-Nov-2007
Cited – Forbes v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 11-Jul-2006
The defendant had been placed on the sex offenders’ register on conviction for fraudulent evasion of prohibitions on importing goods, by importing indecent photographs of children. He had maintained that he had not known of the exact nature of the . .
Cited – T, Regina (on The Application of) v Greater Manchester Police and Another Admn 9-Feb-2012
The claimant challenged the terms of an enhanced Criminal Records Certificate issued by the defendant. He had been warned in 2002 for suspicion of theft of two cycles. The record had been stepped down in 2009, but then re-instated. He wished to . .
Cited – T and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department and Another SC 18-Jun-2014
T and JB, asserted that the reference in certificates issued by the state to cautions given to them violated their right to respect for their private life under article 8 of the Convention. T further claims that the obligation cast upon him to . .
Cited – Gallagher for Judicial Review (NI) SC 30-Jan-2019
Each appellant complained of the disclosure by the respondent of very old and minor offences to potential employers, destroying prospects of finding work. Two statutory schemes were challenged, raising two separate questions, namely whether any . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Human Rights, Criminal Sentencing
Updated: 09 January 2022; Ref: scu.409977