The Government is seeking leave to appeal against a court ruling that the law, which requires people to disclose all previous convictions to certain employers, is a breach of human rights.

Civil liberties campaigners have called for an urgent reform of laws obliging people to disclose all previous convictions to certain employers following a court case of a 21-year-old man who had to disclose information about a conviction from when he was 11 years old, when he applied for a part-time job at a football club and for a university course.

On 29 January 2013 the Court of Appeal ruled that the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (ROA) 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 infringes Article 8 of the Convention for Human Rights – the right to a private and family life.

Delivering the ruling, the Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, said the disclosure of old convictions and cautions was designed to protect children and vulnerable adults but he said, “requiring the disclosure of all convictions and cautions relating to recordable offences is disproportionate to that legitimate aim.”

However, it is ‘business as usual’ at the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) until they know the outcome of the government’s appeal. The DBS has said that they will provide more information as they know it on their website.