June 13th, 2013
Enhanced criminal records certificates – teachers on trial
"Of course, a critically important issue for the teacher in question is whether the allegations will ultimately find their way into any enhanced criminal record certificate (ECRC). This is an issue which has been considered by the High Court in two recent cases.
In the first, R (L) v Chief Constable of Cumbria Constabulary  EWHC 869 (Admin), L, a teacher, had been accused of having improperly propositioned and hugged an 18 year old pupil whilst at a pub. L had denied the allegations and no criminal prosecution had ultimately been mounted. The High Court held that inclusion in the ECRC of information relating to the allegations was unlawful as it constituted a disproportionate and hence unjustified interference with L’s Article 8 rights (see further Rachel Kamm’s more detailed post on this judgment here).
This week, the High Court has given judgment in the case of RK v (1) Chief Constable of South Yorkshire (2) Disclosure and Banning Service  EWHC 1555 (Admin). RK had previously been acquitted of six counts of indecent assault and sexual activity with a child (in essence it was alleged that RK had repeatedly touched the bottoms of teenage girls in his care). Nine years later RK sought disclosure of a draft ECRC from the Constabulary. The draft included information about the allegations and referred to them as ‘offenses’. RK sought a judicial review of the draft certificate.
"Critically the judgments in both L and RK highlight the dangers attendant on the police unthinkingly substituting their own view of an individual’s guilt or innocence in the face of an acquittal by the criminal courts or other important evidence raising questions about the reliability of the information in issue."