CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, April 12, 2018

McIntyre & O'Donnell on Data Protection and Criminal Convictions

T. J. McIntyre and Ian O'Donnell (UCD Sutherland School of Law and Sutherland School of Law, University College Dublin) have posted Criminals, Data Protection and the Right to a Second Chance ((2017) 58 Irish Jurist (ns) 27) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
In 2016 Ireland belatedly introduced legislation to allow for the expungement of adult criminal records and, in doing so, highlighted a changing technological and legal context which challenges the assumptions underlying rehabilitation laws. The potential impact of convictions on individuals’ life chances has increased as mandatory vetting has become more widespread. Even where vetting is not required, internet search engines render criminal histories easily accessible to curious third parties. In the other direction, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) have developed privacy and data protection principles which require states to limit the availability of information about old convictions. In this article we outline the limitations of the Irish legislation and use it as a case study to consider these wider issues, examining how it illustrates the growing importance of European privacy and data protection norms in national criminal justice and rehabilitation systems.

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