L, Regina (On the Application of) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis: SC 29 Oct 2009

Rebalancing of Enhanced Disclosure Requirements

The Court was asked as to the practice of supplying enhanced criminal record certificates under the 1997 Act. It was said that the release of reports of suspicions was a disproportionate interference in the claimants article 8 rights to a private life. The enhanced record revealed that the claimant’s son had been placed on the child protection register to protect him not from the claimant but from his father. The claimant lost her job.
Held: Some elements of the information disclosed was not public, and the claimant’s article 8 rights were engaged. The effect of X v West Midlands Police tilted the balance too far in favour of disclosure: ‘It has encouraged the idea that priority must be given to the social need to protect the vulnerable as against the right to respect for private life of the applicant. This is clearly shown by the way the rating table in MP9 is constructed and by Det.Supt. Morris’s minute of 2 December 2004. The words ‘ought to be included’ in section 115(7)(b) require to be given much greater attention. They must be read and given effect in a way that is compatible with the applicant’s Convention right and that of any third party who may be affected by the disclosure: Human Rights Act 1998 Act, section 3(1).’
The advice given to police officers should be changed to re-balance the presumptions made, reflecting better the article 8 rights of the applicants. However a declaration as to incompatibility was refused, and the decision was not quashed, since the information disclosed was true and could properly be taken into an account by an employer. Before disclosing, the officer must consider that the information might be relevant and also that it ought to be disclosed.

Lord Hope, Deputy President, Lord Saville, Lord Scott, Lord Brown, Lord Neuberger
[2009] UKSC 3, [2010] Fam Law 21, [2010] 1 All ER 113, [2009] 3 WLR 1056, [2010] AC 410, [2010] 2 FCR 25, [2010] PTSR 245, 2 CCL Rep 573, [2010] HRLR 7, 28 BHRC 391, [2010] UKHRR 115, (2009) 12 CCL Rep 573, UKSC 2009/0104
Bailii, Bailii Summary, SC, SC Summary
Police Act 1997 115(7), European Convention on Human Rights 8, Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 4(2), Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, Criminal Justice Act 2003
England and Wales
DisapprovedRegina (X) v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police CA 30-Jul-2004
The claimant had been accused of offences, but the prosecution had been discontinued when the child victims had failed to identify him. The police had nevertheless notified potential employers and he had been unable to obtain work as a social . .
At First InstanceL, Regina (on the Application of) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis Admn 19-Mar-2006
The court considered the duties on the respondent in providing an enhanced criminal record certificate. In one case, the claimant had brought up her son who was made subject to child protection procedures for neglect. Her job involved supervising . .
CitedL, Regina (on the Application of) v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis and Another CA 1-Mar-2007
The court considered the proper content of an enhanced criminal record certificate. The claimant said that it should contain only matter relating to actual or potential criminal activity.
Held: As to the meaning of section 115: ‘if Parliament . .
CitedWright and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Health and Another HL 21-Jan-2009
The claimants had been provisionally listed as ‘people considered unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults’ which meant that they could no longer work, but they said they were given no effective and speedy opportunity to object to the listing. . .
CitedSmart v Sheffield City Council: Central Sunderland Housing Company Limited v Wilson CA 25-Jan-2002
Each tenant had become unintentionally homeless, and was granted a non-secure tenancy of accommodation under section 193. Complaints of nuisance were received from neighbours. Possession orders were obtained and now challenged under the Human Rights . .
CitedX v Iceland ECHR 18-May-1976
The right to respect for private life was held to ‘comprise also, to a certain degree, the right to establish and develop relationships with other human beings’. . .
CitedMarckx v Belgium ECHR 13-Jun-1979
Recognition of illegitimate children
The complaint related to the manner in which parents were required to adopt their own illegitimate child in order to increase his rights. Under Belgian law, no legal bond between an unmarried mother and her child results from the mere fact of birth. . .
CitedNiemietz v Germany ECHR 16-Dec-1992
A lawyer complained that a search of his offices was an interference with his private life.
Held: In construing the term ‘private life’, ‘it would be too restrictive to limit the notion of an ‘inner circle’ in which the individual may live his . .
CitedRegina v Chief Constable of North Wales Police and Others Ex Parte Thorpe and Another; Regina v Chief Constable for North Wales Police Area and others ex parte AB and CB CA 18-Mar-1998
Public Identification of Pedophiles by Police
AB and CB had been released from prison after serving sentences for sexual assaults on children. They were thought still to be dangerous. They moved about the country to escape identification, and came to be staying on a campsite. The police sought . .
CitedLondon Borough of Harrow v Qazi HL 31-Jul-2003
The applicant had held a joint tenancy of the respondent. His partner gave notice and left, and the property was taken into possession. The claimant claimed restoration of his tenancy saying the order did not respect his right to a private life and . .
CitedAttorney General’s Reference No 3 of 1999: Application By the British Broadcasting Corporation To Set Aside or Vary a Reporting Restriction Order HL 17-Jun-2009
An application was made to discharge an anonymity order made in previous criminal proceedings before the House. The defendant was to be retried for rape under the 2003 Act, after an earlier acquittal. The applicant questioned whether such a order . .
CitedSidabras And Dziautas v Lithuania ECHR 27-Jul-2004
Former KGB officers complained that they were banned, not only from public sector employment, but also from many private sector posts. This ‘affected [their] ability to develop relationships with the outside world to a very significant degree, and . .
CitedCemalettin Canli v Turkey ECHR 18-Nov-2008
The Court found interference in the applicant’s right to respect of his private life in that the police prepared and submitted to a domestic court an inaccurate report in the context of criminal proceedings against him. . .
CitedRegina v Local Authority and Police Authority in the Midlands, ex parte LM 2000
The court considered the retention of information about an unsubstantiated child sexual abuse allegation. . .
CitedRegina (X) v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police QBD 23-Jan-2004
The claimant, a social worker, had been accused of two offences of indecency with children, but the complainants had failed to identify him. The respondent later disclosed those allegations when called upon to provide an enhanced criminal record . .
CitedPinnington, Regina (on the Application of) v Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police Admn 31-Jul-2008
The claimant sought judicial review of a decision of the police to include in response to the enhanced criminal record request details of three allegations made but not proceeded with.
Held: By the terms of the statute it is for the chief . .
CitedSciacca v Italy ECHR 11-Jan-2005
The court was asked whether the applicant’s rights under Article 8 had been infringed by the release to the press of an identity photograph taken of her by the Italian Revenue Police while she was under arrest and investigation for various criminal . .
CitedReklos and Davourlis v Greece ECHR 15-Jan-2009
(Press release) The court considered the rights when photographs were taken in public: ‘the court finds that it is not insignificant that the photographer was able to keep the negatives of the offending photographs, in spite of the express request . .

Cited by:
CitedBH v Secretary of State for The Home Department Admn 17-Nov-2009
The claimant was subject to a non-derogating control order under the 2005 Act. A relaxation was sought to allow him to visit his solicitors. But was offered subject to conditions which included a requirement that he be subject to a personal search. . .
CitedSheikh and Another v Dogan and Others ChD 17-Nov-2009
The judge had reserved his judgment, but had since received further voluminous representations from a party.
Held: None of the matters raised suggested a proper reason for exercising the jurisdiction given by In re Barrell. The claimant was . .
CitedC, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department and Another CA 19-Jan-2011
The Chief Constable appealed against an order made against him on the disclosure made on replying to an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate request, of unproven sexual misconduct allegations against the claimant. The judge had found the disclosure . .
CitedGC v The Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis SC 18-May-2011
The court was asked to decide from whom DNA samples could lawfully be taken by the Police,and for how long they should be kept. The first respondent now said that a declaration of incompatibility of section 64(1A) could not be avoided.
Held: . .
BindingT, 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 . .
CitedStratton, Regina (on The Application of) v Thames Valley Police Admn 7-Jun-2013
The claimant requested the court to set aside a caution accepted by her, when she said that she had not understood the serious consequences and had not admitted the offence.
Held: It was for each Chief Constable to draft his own policy, but . .
CitedCatt and T, Regina (on The Applications of) v Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis SC 4-Mar-2015
Police Data Retention Justifiable
The appellants challenged the collection of data by the police, alleging that its retention interfered with their Article 8 rights. C complained of the retention of records of his lawful activities attending political demonstrations, and T . .
CitedT 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 . .
CitedNT 1 and NT 2 v Google Llc QBD 13-Apr-2018
Right to be Forgotten is not absolute
The two claimants separately had criminal convictions from years before. They objected to the defendant indexing third party web pages which included personal data in the form of information about those convictions, which were now spent. The claims . .
CitedAR, Regina (on The Application of) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and Another SC 30-Jul-2018
The appellant had been tried for and acquitted on a criminal charge. He now challenged the disclosure by the respondent of the charge in an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate.
Held: His appeal failed. The critical question was whether the . .
CitedGallagher 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.

Police, Information, Human Rights

Leading Case

Updated: 09 January 2022; Ref: scu.377319