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 family life.
Held: The Secretary of State’s appeal against a declaration of incompatibility failed. The parties agreed that the 2003 Act operated in a way which interfered with the subject’s human rights. The issue was whether it was disproportionate. The level of interference would vary, but for some it might be substantial. Since the system was designed to prevent further offending, if it continued to control people who were no longer a threat then the interference was disproportionate. It was a matter of principle that someone who considered that they no longer posed such a threat should have the right to have the need to register reviewed. This was moreso in the case of young offenders.
Any problems released by the numbers of applications for review would be avoided by Parliament introducing a sensible and proportionate mechanism for review of notification requirements: ‘The spectre of the floodgates can be set at rest by Parliament setting the threshold for review at a suitably high level both as regards the time when an application may first be made, the frequency with which applications may be made and what has to be proved if the notification requirements are to be varied or discharged.’


Dysin, Maurice Kay, Hooper LJJ


[2009] EWCA Civ 792, [2010] 1 All ER 1024, [2010] 1 WLR 76, [2009] HRLR 30, [2009] UKHRR 1417


Bailii, Times


Human Rights Act 1998 4, European Convention on Human Rights 8, Directive 2004/38/EC (OJ April 30, 2004 No L158/77) 4, Sexual Offences Act 2003 82(1)


England and Wales


Appeal fromF 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 by:

Appeal FromF and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 21-Apr-2010
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 . .
CitedT, Regina (on The Application of) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester and Others CA 29-Jan-2013
Three claimants appealed against refusal of declarations that the response of the police to requests for Criminal Records Bureau enhanced checks, were a disproportionate interference in their right to private and family life, and in particular that . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Criminal Sentencing, Human Rights, European

Updated: 30 July 2022; Ref: scu.361451