Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

This interesting and timely case decided by the highest court, appears to draw a line under the extent to which a litigant can invoke his/her right to a private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In the case of R v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and anor [2018] 1 WLR 4079, the Supreme Court dismissed a work-seeker’s appeal against the inclusion on an enhanced criminal records certificate (ECRC) of the fact that he had been acquitted on a charge of rape. The Court held that a High Court judge had been entitled to find that the ECRC, issued in relation to his applicarion to work as a teacher, did not breach the individual’s right to a private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Indeed, reference to the rape acquittal was reasonable, proportionate and no more than necessary to secure the objective of protecting young and vulnerable persons.

The facts in R v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police

R, a qualified teacher, was charged with the rape of a 17-year-old woman while he was working as a taxi driver in 2009. A jury found him not guilty and he was acquitted. He applied for a number of teaching jobs, which required an ECRC under S.113B of the Police Act 1997. The ECRC issued included details of the allegation against him and the fact that he had been acquitted. R appealed under the police complaints procedure. R lost his appeal on the basis that the alleged incident was recent and of a very serious nature, and that the potential risk to vulnerable people outweighed the effect of disclosure, on R’s human rights. R applied to the High Court for judicial review. He argued, among other things, that his right to privacy under Article 8 ECHR had been breached.

The decision of the High Court

The High Court rejected R’s challenge. It accepted that Article 8 was engaged but found that the interference with R’s private life was proportionate under Article 8(2). The disclosure was ‘no more than was necessary to meet the pressing social need for children and vulnerable adults to be protected’.

The decision of the Supreme Court in  R v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and anor [2018] 1 WLR 4079

The Supreme Court unanimously dismissed the appeal that the inclusion of the information on the ECRC could not be justified unless the officers were in a position to form a positive view of likely guilt, which required them to undertake a detailed analysis of the evidence at the trial. The High Court was entitled to accept the Chief Constable’s view that the information included in the ECRC was ‘not lacking substance’ and that the allegations ‘might be true’. It was relevant that the information about the charge and acquittal was a matter of public record and that it be brought to a potential employer’s attention.

Lord Carnwath, delivering the judgement, did indicate that there was no clear guidance as to what weight should be given to an acquittal in different circumstances, that there existed a lack of information about how an ECRC is to be treated by a potential employer and that an adverse ECRC was likely, as expressed by a police officer in a previous case, to be a ‘killer blow’ for an application to a sensitive post. In Lord Carnwath’s view, ‘careful thought needs to be given to the value in practice of disclosing allegations which have been tested in court and have led to an acquittal’.

Our solicitors’ views on the case of R v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police

Caroline Lewis, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Police forces can now reveal whether individuals have been acquitted of criminal charges when issuing information for enhanced record checks. In principle, in issuing an ECRC, even acquittal by a criminal court following a full trial can be said to imply no more than that the charge has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. In principle, it leaves open the possibility that the allegation was true and this could have devastating effects for job applicants who have to produce an ECRC”.

The decision of the Supreme Court decision in R v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and anor [2018] UKSC 47 can be found here

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    Contact us

    Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

    T: 020 3397 3603
    E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
    W: www.redmans.co.uk

    Testimonials

    4.78 Average

    265 Reviews

    Alison M

    Very happy with the advice I received

    Posted 22 hours ago

    Margaret A

    I found everything about the company to be extremely professional and efficient. During my initial contact with Chris, he listened well and was reassuring, so I felt confident that my case would be well handled. Caroline was excellent at explaining all the legal points and answering my questions, as well as being very supportive and understanding throughout the process. I would definitely recommend this company.

    Posted 22 hours ago

    Sanja K

    Very efficient and professional service.

    Posted 22 hours ago

    Anonymous

    I found the advice I was given by Redmans Solicitors to be clear and useful and found the solicitor on my case to be both knowledgeable and approachable.

    Posted 5 days ago

    Karen T

    Great service. Thank you.

    Posted 6 days ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service from Chris & Mel Chin. The best outcome was achieved from the redundancy process. They were extremely thorough, listened carefully and acted swiftly on my behalf. I highly recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 week ago

    Shanine M

    Excellent service, thank you so much!

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    I found Caroline and Chris very Helpful and provided excellent service. Caroline especially provided great legal advice and made me feel at ease with the whole process. I would highly recommend them. Thank you!

    Posted 1 week ago

    Gayle B

    Excellent company very professional would definitely recommend

    Posted 1 week ago

    Alex K

    Redmans provided an excellent service, timely and effective. Will definitely recommend.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Great job done on my employment law

    Posted 1 week ago

    Dominica S

    Caroline & Chris were very prompt and efficient.Very happy with the service and will definitely recommend Redmans Solicitor to everyone !

    Posted 1 week ago

    Sandra K

    If you are looking for a group of solicitors who are Professional, Caring and on point, then look no futher than Redmans. I was literally hand held through out my case. Can not find fault with this company, very happy with the result and the service i received. Would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    I found dealing with Redmans a pleasure. I got to speak to someone quickly, the advice was profferred promplty and the service was not 'pushy'. In addition, the administration was excellent. What more could you ask for?

    Posted 1 week ago

    ALISDAIR L

    Redmans did a brilliant job regarding my redundancy agreement. I miss read an extra charge which wasnt the case so doing a new review to clarify. I would recommend Redmans for any employment law issues you may have.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Christos G

    Great legal advice and quick correspondence. Very supportive and helpful through the entire process. Thank you Redmans!

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Chris Hadrill advised me on a redundancy settlement agreement. He was very responsive, easy to deal with and gave me good advice at a stressful time.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Zara M

    Rana at Redmans gave me support and confidence I needed to ensure a wrong, was put right. I couldn’t recommend enough.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Stuart T

    Chris provided an excellent service, he was efficient and friendly and I had no doubt when recommending him to my colleagues

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service, prompt responses. Chris Hadrill provided excellent and efficient service.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Jane M

    Wonderful solicitors who really listen to you and who are there to offer expert legal advice but they also have a personal touch and you really feel supported both from a legal aspect but also from a personal aspect. They really listen .

    Posted 2 weeks ago