Regina (Pearson) v Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and Another: QBD 6 Nov 2002

The appellant challenged the fact that the details of his conviction for driving with excess alcohol had not been removed from his driving licence despite it being a spent conviction under the 1974 Act. The result was that he had been unable to find work as a driver.
Held: The retention of the records was not a breach of the applicant’s human right to privacy. The article was not engaged, although he might have considered an action for breach of statutory duty.
The claimant objected to having to effectively disclose a road traffic conviction to a new employer where though it would be spent under the 1974 Act, the 1988 Act required details of it to remain on his driving licence.
Held: Article 8 was not engaged. Maurice Kay J spoke of the 1974 Act: ‘The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act confers certain privileges . . It does not attempt to go beyond the grant of those limited privileges to provide a right of confidentiality in respect of spent convictions. While the 1974 Act in some respects may place an individual with spent convictions in the same position as someone with no convictions, it does not do so by rendering the convictions confidential; it does so simply by putting in place a regime which protects an individual from being prejudiced by the existence of such convictions. For these reasons I reject the submission that the 1974 Act renders the appellant’s convictions confidential.’


Maurice Kay J


Times 18-Nov-2002, [2002] EWHC 2482 (Admin)




Road Traffic Act 1988 44(1) 45(7), European Convention on Human Rights Art 8, Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, Road Traffic Offenders Act 1974 45(7), European Convention on Human Rights 8


England and Wales

Cited by:

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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Road Traffic, Human Rights, Criminal Practice

Updated: 06 June 2022; Ref: scu.178196