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Supreme Court to issue judgment on landmark criminal records disclosure regime case on Wednesday 30th January

On Wednesday 30th January at 9.45am, the Supreme Court will hand down its judgement in the case of R (on the application of P, G and W) and R (on the application of P) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and others.

The criminal records disclosure scheme has twice been ruled unlawful – but instead of putting in place the urgent reform that’s so desperately needed, the Government chose to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court.

The case was heard in the Supreme Court in June 2018. For the first time in Unlock’s history, we intervened in the case because we wanted to help the Supreme Court understand the importance of the issue, the failings of the current system, and how it could be changed for the better. We believe the current filtering system that applies to standard and enhanced criminal record checks doesn’t go far enough; it is blunt, restrictive and disproportionate.

We hope that the Supreme Court will reject the Government’s appeal. We stand ready to work with the Government to reform and implement a system that takes a more calibrated and targeted approach towards disclosing criminal records.

Our response to the judgment will be on our website – at – once the judgment is published on Wednesday. We’ll also be tweeting using the hashtag #dbsfiltering.

In the meantime, you can read a blog about the Supreme Court hearing from our co-director, Christopher Stacey, which gives an interesting overview and some reflections on when the case was heard in June 2018.

And whatever the outcome on Wednesday, we will be calling on the government to fundamentally re-look at their position on the criminal record disclosure regime.

Please help us with this work by supporting our campaign to wipe DBS checks clean of old/minor criminal records.The money we raise will go towards our campaign work to make sure the government takes action. This will take our time and resources over the coming months – crucial if we are to make most of the opportunity and get the best possible outcome for people with old and minor criminal records. We really need your support to do this!
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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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