Information on the Proposed Changes to Filtering

During Question Time on Tuesday 27 January, the Minister for Justice, David Ford MLA, indicated that he is preparing to propose a review mechanism for the current filtering arrangements as part of the Justice Bill, which is currently being considered by the Committee for Justice. The Minister’s proposal means that people will be able to ask for an independent review of their case, even after the application of filtering, if they believe that the disclosure of the information is disproportionate. The new process will include an automatic referral for cases with offences committed only under the age of 18. You can read what the Minister said here.

Since these comments and the media reports that followed, we have been contacted by several people for more information about the automatic referral and the appeals mechanism. Unfortunately, these are still just proposals and are not yet in practice yet: they still have to be considered by the Assembly and passed before the mechanisms are actually put in place. It’s not clear at this stage when the Bill will be passed and subsequently implemented.

We will continue to work with the Minister and the Department for Justice to bring about change to the current criminal records regime.

If you have a criminal record and would like advice or information about disclosure, please contact our Employment Advice Line on 028 9032 0157. Alternatively, you can contact Access NI directly.

You can read our statement on the proposals here. If you have a childhood conviction which could be considered as minor and would be willing to share your story with NIACRO to help our campaign for change, please contact Julia on 028 9032 0157 or julia@niacro.co.uk.