- posted under: Press Releases
In light of the current Criminal Records, (Rehabilitation of Offenders) (Amendment) Act 2014 that is presently before Parliament, the OPD in its position paper, “Rehabilitation of Offenders: A Fairer and a more Open Process”, has advanced some radical but common sense ideas, which will help what is a good bill become better.
The OPD is advancing the following key proposals, -
1. Removal of the right to appeal to the Minister which is currently enjoyed by those seeking expungement of their convictions. The existing appeal to the Minister should be replaced by a statutory right of appeal, which would be independent of the Minister and will eliminate any semblance of apparent bias, as currently it is the Minister who appoints the Board.
2. The creation of a review period (15 years) for those offences for which it is said that expungement may never be granted. The benefit is that the citizen will have a right (upon application) to have his criminal record reviewed to enable resettlement and the prospect of employment. In establishing a review period, the balance between the two (2) competing interest (protection of the public and the right of an ex-offender to regain his private life) will be achieved.
3. There should be specific factors that the Criminal Records Board considers when asked to grant an expungement. Presently the Board’s decision making process is infected or can be infected by the lack of objective factors, which undermines consistency and the person’s human rights.
The Office of the Public Defender makes these proposals for legislative changes as it has an obligation to contribute to the law making process, as it seeks to ensure that laws which are passed achieve that necessary balance between protecting rights whilst protecting the public.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
78 HARBOUR STREET