Case details

In the matter of an application by Lorraine Gallagher for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland)

Case ID: UKSC 2016/0195

Case summary


Whether the statutory requirements in respect of an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate ("EDC") and parallel obligation of self-disclosure, such that the existence of more than one conviction will mean that all convictions, no matter their age or subject matter will be disclosable, is a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights ("ECHR").


On 11 February 2014 the respondent applied for employment with the Western Health and Social Care Trust ("the Trust"). On 17 June 2014 she was offered a temporary part-time position as a care assistant, subject to an ‘Access NI’ check (an EDC). As part of the initial application form and updating exercise the respondent had been required to set out any convictions she may have had. She disclosed "carrying child without sealtbelt 1996" and "4 May 1996 carrying child without seatbelt fined £25". On 20 June 2014 the Trust applied to Access NI for an EDC in respect of the respondent, which was issued on 24 July 2014. The EDC disclosed that the respondent in fact had six convictions: they all related to failure to wear a seatbelt (both personally and in respect of child passengers); and arose from two incidents – one in 1996 and the other in 1998. On 29 September 2014 the Trust withdrew its offer of employment. It subsequently explained its reasoning, stating that the failure to declare complete and accurate information about convictions constituted a serious breach of trust.

The respondent brought proceedings by way of judicial review, challenging the legality of the statutory scheme in respect of EDCs, by which where there is more than one conviction, all convictions will be disclosable, regardless of their age or subject-matter. In due course, the self-declaration aspect of the scheme was added to the challenge, as well as the claim that the regime was not "in accordance with the law". The respondent succeeded before both the High Court and Court of Appeal, from which the appellant now appeals.

Judgment appealed

[2016] NICA 42



Department of Justice for Northern Ireland


Lorraine Gallagher

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  2. Clan Childlaw



Lady Hale, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes

Hearing start date

19 Jun 2018

Hearing finish date

21 Jun 2018

Watch hearing
19 Jun 2018 Morning session Afternoon session
20 Jun 2018 Morning session Afternoon session
21 Jun 2018 Morning session