Court of Appeal concludes that the disclosure of an acquittal does not violate ECHR, arts 6 and 8.


Re: R (AR) v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester & Anor [2016] EWCA Civ 490

The appellant challenged the lawfulness of ECRCs which referred to an allegation of rape, and his acquittal in respect of that charge. He argued that the ECRCs, setting out that information, pursuant to the Police Act 1997, s 113B(4), infringed his ECHR, arts 6.2 and 8, rights

The Court accepted that in the instant case there was no violation of ECHR, art 6.2, because there was no aspersion cast upon the correctness of the acquittal in the criminal court, nor was it suggested in the certificates that the appellant was guilty of the offence of which he had been acquitted. The Court would moreover not go beyond the limits of the previous domestic and ECtHR jurisprudence that emphasised the “duty of the national courts to keep pace with the Strasbourg

The court concluded that the judge did not err in his judgement because he had considered the relevant authorities, the various factors material to the proportionality of the decision to disclose the information, recognised the flaw in the reviewing officer’s reasoning in placing significant weight on the initial decision to prosecute, recognised that a balance had to be struck between the potential risk to the vulnerable if the appellant obtained the post for which he was applying and the interference with his conventional rights, due to the detriment that he would suffer by the disclosure. The appeal was dismissed.

Hugh Southey QC was involved in this case.