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Guide to Rehabilitation of Offenders (Jersey) Law 2001

This short statement is intended to explain to employers and employees the Rehabilitation of Offenders Law and Regulations insofar as they relate to employment.  It is not intended to cover all the requirements of the Regulations, nor does it represent a statement of the Law. It constitutes a guide only and detailed legal advice should be taken in relation to each individual situation. Any reference to male persons in the statement should be read as including, or being, female persons where this is appropriate.

The Law introduces new rules to facilitate the rehabilitation of offenders. Once a specified period of time has elapsed since certain convictions, these convictions will be treated as 'spent'. The offender will be treated in law as if he had not committed the offence or been convicted of it. A spent conviction need not be disclosed when the offender or any other person is asked a question about the offender's past convictions and it is made an offence for a person, in the course of his official duties, to disclose a spent conviction without the offender's consent.

Further, the fact of a spent conviction or its non-disclosure is not a proper ground for turning the offender down for employment, dismissing him from a post or excluding him from any office or profession, subject to certain exceptions as described in paragraph 2.3 below.

The law can be accessed here.

1. General overview in regard to employment

1.1  The Law applies to a conviction imposed by any court, civil or military, or tribunal, including those outside of the Island.

1.2  Article 3 of the Law sets out various time periods (the rehabilitation periods) that must elapse for  a conviction to be regarded as spent. A guide to these is set out at Annex 1.

1.3  There are certain exceptions to the Law in which the rule for rehabilitation is inappropriate i.e. Convictions resulting in a sentence of life imprisonment or imprisonment for more than 30 months.

1.4   There are also occasions when evidence of spent convictions can be produced:

(i)     In criminal proceedings, courts-martial, proceedings relating to adoption, the marriage of a minor, the provision of accommodation and care or schooling of minors under the Children (Jersey) Law 1969;

(ii)   With the consent of the offender, in proceedings in which he is a party or witness;

(iii)  If it is satisfied that justice cannot otherwise be done, a judicial authority has discretion, in proceedings.

1.5  Finally, there are certain occupations or circumstances where disclosure of spent convictions is required. These are summarised in 2.3 below.

2. Employment

2.1 The Law states that a spent conviction, or any circumstances associated with it, including the failure to disclose a spent conviction, is not a proper ground for dismissing or excluding a person from any office, profession or employment or for prejudicing that person in respect of any occupation or employment, irrespective of whether that employment is paid or unpaid (but see 2.2  and 2.3 below).

2.2 There are, however, certain occupations or circumstances where spent convictions must be  disclosed.  These are set out in the Regulations and are summarised in 2.3 below:

2.3  Spent convictions, and their surrounding circumstances, are required to be disclosed and questions may be asked about a person's previous convictions, offences, conduct and surrounding circumstances for the purpose of assessing a person's suitability:

(i)    for any judicial appointment when that appointment gives legal powers to determine any question affecting a person's rights, privileges, obligations or liabilities;

(ii)   for appointment as Attorney General, Solicitor General, Crown Advocate, Judicial Greffier, Deputy Judicial Greffier, Greffier Substitute, Viscount, Deputy Viscount, Viscount Substitute, Greffier of the States or Deputy Greffier of the States;

(iii)  for admission to practice as an advocate or solicitor of the Royal Court;

(iv)   for authorisation, enrolment, recognition or registration to practice in the Island as a doctor, dentist, ancillary dental worker, ophthalmic/dispensing optician, pharmacist, midwife, veterinary surgeon, chiropodist, chiropractor, clinical psychologist, dietician, medical laboratory technician, occupational therapist, orthoptist, osteopath, physiotherapist, psychotherapist, radiographer or  speech therapist;

(v)    for appointment as a member of (a) the States of Jersey Police, (b) the Honorary Police, (c) the Port Control Unit, or as a (d) police cadet, (e) customs officer, (f) immigration officer, (g) fishery officer or (h) traffic officer;

(vi)   for employment within the Bailiff's Department, the Law Officers' Department, Viscount's Department or Judicial Greffe;

(vii)   for employment at the prison or as civilian support staff to the States of Jersey Police or Honorary Police, or as a probation or community service officer;

(viii)  for appointment as Official Analyst or for employment within the Official Analyst's laboratory; 

(ix)    for employment within the Lieutenant-Governor's official residence;

(x)     to be authorised as a firearms dealer or to pursue an occupation (a) as a licensed occupier of premises where explosives are kept or (b) as a licensed seller of fireworks;

(xi)    to hold a gambling licence or certificate issued by or be registered by the Economic Development Committee;

(xii)   to be employed in an occupation which requires a public service vehicle licence or badge;

(xiii)   for employment requiring the person to hold a liquor licence, or be registered as a manager or be the  approved to deputise for the manager;

(xiv)  to work with or in proximity to children or in a post conferring responsibility for children including those persons line managers, school governors and chief officers appointed by the Education, Sport and Culture Committee and the Health and Social Services Committee.  The requirement also applies to anyone living or regularly working on premises where work with children takes place. Disclosure of spent convictions is also required for the purpose of assessing an application for registration of a nursery or private school or as a childminder and for the purpose of assessing the suitability of a person enrolling for a course of education which includes a placement caring for, training, supervising or being in charge of children;

(xv)  to work with vulnerable people, such as persons over 65 or those who are physically or mentally impaired, drug addicts or permanently disabled, to manage or carry on a nursing home or for appointment as a curator; and

(xvi) for appointment as a Commissioner, officer, servant or agent of the Jersey Financial Services Commission ("JFSC");

It can be a proper ground for dismissal/exclusion or simply count against any person who has previous spent convictions and/or fails to disclose previous spent convictions.

2.4 Questions may be asked about a person's previous convictions, offences, conduct and surrounding circumstances for the purpose of assessing a person's suitability:

(i)    to hold a firearms certificate/permit or licence in respect of explosives or fireworks;

(ii)    to pursue an occupation which requires a gambling licence or certificate to be issued or to be registered by the Economic Development Committee;

(iii)  to hold a public service vehicle licence or a badge to drive a public service vehicle;

(iv)  to hold a liquor licence or be registered as a manager of licensed premises or approved as a deputy to a licensee or manager; or

(v)   to be registered under the Nursing and Residential Homes (Jersey) Law, 1994.

2.5 Questions may be asked about a person's previous convictions, offences, conduct and surrounding circumstances if the question is put by a States' employee in order to assess, for the purposes of safeguarding the security of the Island, the applicant's suitability for the post. These questions may only be put if the applicant is informed, when the question is asked that spent convictions must be disclosed for the purpose of safeguarding the security of the island. The prospective employee can be dismissed or excluded if they have any spent convictions or if they fail to dsclose these convictions, if such dismissal or exclusion is to safeguard the security of the Island.

2.6 Questions may be asked by overseas authorities to the Attorney General or the States of Jersey Police Force about a person's previous convictions, offences, conduct and surrounding circumstances.

2.7 Questions may be asked by the Adoption Service, by an approved Adoption Society or by a Health and Social Services officer about a person's previous convictions, offences, conduct and surrounding circumstances for the purpose of assessing a person's suitability to adopt or foster children. (The requirement also applies to anyone who lives in the same household as the prospective adopter or foster parent).

2.8 Questions may be asked by or on behalf of the JFSC in discharge of its regulatory functions in respect of collective investment funds, banking business, insurance business and financial services business about a person's previous convictions, offences, conduct and surrounding circumstances in respect of relevant offences for the purpose of assessing a person's suitability:

(i)    in respect of collective investment funds : to hold or apply for a permit, or be their principal person, or associate or employee involved in compliance / giving investment advice;

(ii)   in respect of banking business: to be registered or apply for registration, or be their associate, controller, director, manager or employee involved in compliance / giving investment advice;

(iii)  in respect of insurance business : to hold or apply for a permit, or be their associate, chief executive, director, shareholder controller or employee involved in compliance / giving investment advice; and  

(iv)   in respect of financial services : to be registered or apply for registration or be their principal person, or associate or employee involved in compliance / giving investment advice.

Relevant offences are those:

a) involving fraud or other dishonesty; and  

b) under any enactment (Jersey or elsewhere) relating to banking or other financial services, b uilding societies, collective investment funds, companies (including insider dealing), consumer credit, consumer protection, credit unions, friendly societies, industrial and provident societies, insurance, insolvency or money laundering;

c) for perjury or conspiracy to pervert the course of justice; or

d) committed (whether under the law of Jersey or elsewhere) in connection with, or in relation to taxation, for  which a person aged 21 or more may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of 2 years or more.

When the Commission decides to exercise its functions in respect of collective investment funds, banking business, insurance business or financial services it can be a proper ground for dismissal/exclusion or simply count against any person who has previous spent convictions and/or fails to disclose previous spent convictions.

Further, when cooperating under the collective investment funds, banking business, insurance business or financial services laws, the Commission may also communicate to other authorities' details of spent convictions. 

3. Disclosure of information on spent convictions by others

In general, third parties are not permitted to disclose information on spent convictions to others. However,  there are exceptions to this, namely:

(i) it is not an offence for a person who, in the course of his or her official duties, has access to official records, to disclose information contained in those records, if the person does so only in the course of those duties.

(ii) it is not an offence to disclose spent convictions in any proceedings before a Mental Health Review Tribunal.

4. General Rule for Proceedings

Disclosure of spent convictions arising from a decision taken to consider a spent conviction or for the receipt of evidence is required:

(i)   for proceedings set out in 2.3 (iii) and (iv) above;

(ii)  for proceedings set out in 2.3 (v) (a) - (d) above;

(iii) for certain proceedings under the Firearms Law;

(iv) for refusal, imposition of conditions upon, variation or revocation of (a) any licence or certificate granted by or (b) any registration by the Gambling Control Committee now the Economic Development Committee;

(v)  for any refusal, suspension or revocation of a Public Service vehicle licence or badge;

(vi)  for certain refusals/ placing of conditions/registrations on the grant of a liquor licence or for refusal of a person as a manager of licensed premises;

(vii) for registration of (a) a private school, the proprietor of such a school or a teacher there or (b) of a nursery or childminder;

(viii) for registration under the Nursing Homes Law; and

(ix)   for certain proceedings under the Collective Investment Funds Law, Banking Business Law and Financial Services Law.

Further Information

Copies of the Law and Regulations may be purchased during normal office hours from the States'      Greffe  Bookshop, Morier House, Halkett Place, St. Helier, telephone (01534) 502037

Further advice or information may be obtained from the Jersey Advisory and Conciliation Service in person or by telephoning (01534) 730503

Copyright restrictions are waived on this document and it may be copied providing that the content is not altered in any way.   

An extremely useful guide for employers can be found on the CIPD website at http://www.crb.gov.uk/PDF/3083_Employing_aw.pdf) Although it refers to UK legislation, it has direct relevance to Jersey. 

Guidelines prepared in December 2003

Annexe

Sentence

Rehabilitation period

1.     An absolute discharge.

6 months from the conviction date.

2.     A binding over order.

Whichever is the longer of one year from the conviction date or the period beginning with that date and ending when the binding over order ceases or ceased to have effect.

3.     An attendance centre order.

The period beginning with the conviction date and ending one year after the date on which the attendance centre order ceases or ceased to have effect.

4.     A sentence, for a term not exceeding 6 months, of detention.

3 years from the conviction date.

5.     A custodial order, where the maximum period of detention specified in the order is six months or less, under Schedule 5A to the Army Act or the Air Force Act or under Schedule 4A to the Naval Discipline Act.

3 years from the conviction date.

6.     Any sentence of detention in respect of a conviction in service disciplinary proceedings.

Person aged 18 or more: 5 years from the conviction date.

Person aged less than 18: 2½ years from the conviction date.

7.     A fine, or any other sentence subject to rehabilitation under this Law, not being a sentence within any other item in this column of this table.

Person aged 18 or more: 5 years from the conviction date.

Person aged less than 18: 2½ years from the conviction date.

8.     A sentence, for a term exceeding 6 months but not exceeding 30 months, of detention.

5 years from the conviction date.

9.     A probation order.

Person aged 18 or more: 5 years from the conviction date.

Person aged less than 18: whichever is the longer of 2½ years from the conviction date or a period beginning with that date and ending when the probation order ceases or ceased to have effect.

10.   A sentence, for a term not exceeding 6 months, of imprisonment, detention in a young offender institution or youth custody.

Person aged 18 or more: 7 years from the conviction date.

Person aged less than 18: 3½ years from the conviction date.

11.   A custodial order, where the maximum period of detention specified in the order is more than 6 months, under section 71AA of or Schedule 5A to the Army Act or the Air Force Act or under section 43AA of or Schedule 4A to the Naval Discipline Act.

7 years from the conviction date.

Sentence

Rehabilitation period

12.   A sentence of dismissal from Her Majesty's service.

Person aged 18 or more: 7 years from the conviction date.

Person aged less than 18: 3½ years from the conviction date.

13.   A sentence of cashiering, discharge with ignominy or dismissal with disgrace from Her Majesty's Service.

Person aged 18 or more: 10 years from the conviction date.

Person aged less than 18: 5 years from the conviction date.

14.   A sentence, for a term exceeding 6 months but not exceeding 30 months, of imprisonment, detention in a young offender institution, youth custody or corrective training.

Person aged 18 or more: 10 years from the conviction date.

Person aged less than 18: 5 years from the conviction date.

Sentence which may no longer be passed

Rehabilitation period

15.   Birching.

One year from the conviction date.

16.   A fit person order under Article 24 of the Children (Jersey) Law 1969

Whichever is the longer of one year from the conviction date or the period beginning with that date and ending when the order ceases or ceased to have effect.

17.   An approved school order under Article 7 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1935 or under Article 24 of the Children (Jersey) Law 1969.

An order under Article 13 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1935.

The period beginning with the conviction date and ending one year after the date on which the order ceases or ceased to have effect.

18.   An order for detention in or committal to a detention centre or a young offenders' centre under Article 19 or 20 of the Children (Jersey) Law 1969.

3 years from the conviction date.

19.   A sentence of Borstal training.

7 years from the conviction date.

Tribunal Reports & Case Precedents