Civil Liberties

U.K. Court: Forcing Job Applicants To Disclose Past Offenses Violates Human Rights

The requirement should be dropped for youthful offenders and others


A law requiring people to disclose past criminal offenses when applying for jobs dealing with children or adults in supervised care violates their privacy under European human-rights law, a U.K. court said.

Parliament should amend two laws to drop the requirements in some cases, such as when the offenders were children at the time or the incident happened a long time ago, a three-judge appeals court panel in London ruled today.

The case stems from lawsuits by people who broke the law or received police cautions and later encountered problems with employment, including a man whose offense when he was 11 years old came back to haunt him when he applied for a job at a soccer club.