5 Essex Court


28 Sep 18 Back to Listing

Mark Thomas successfully defends JR of disclosure on Enhanced Criminal Record Certificates

The Administrative Court has dismissed a challenge in R (on the application of E) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis where the Claimant failed to show that the disclosure of an acquittal for sexual assault on two enhanced criminal record certificates was disproportionate or inaccurate.

The Claimant sought a declaration and damages for distress following the Commissioner’s decision to disclose details of an allegation of sexual assault, evidence which demonstrated the credibility of the allegation and the fact of the Claimant’s acquittal.

Applying the recent Supreme Court decision in R (on the application of R) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester [2018] UKSC 47, the Administrative Court held that the Commissioner was under no duty to investigate the allegations as part of the decision to disclose and was entitled to disclose the fact of an acquittal. Where evidence was disclosed which added credibility to the allegation it did not necessarily undermine the acquittal.

The Court further held that the disclosure officers had carefully considered the facts and relevant factors in making their decisions; in particular, the officers were conscious that a certificate is ‘portable’ and therefore disclosure decisions should not be made in the light of an application for a particular role.

The claim was dismissed and the Commissioner awarded her costs in the full sum claimed.

Mark Thomas acts for police forces throughout the country. He is a member of the 5 Essex Court information law team and regularly advises both public and private organisations on information law.