CRB disclosures were 'disproportionate'

Posted: 29th October 2012

A nurse whose career has been blighted by disputed claims that she manhandled patients has won a landmark High Court ruling that Devon and Cornwall Police violated her human rights by disclosing the allegations to prospective employers who requested copies of her Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate (ECRC).

PoliceThe nurse, referred to as J, insists that none of the allegations is true. She argued successfully that the disclosures were making it all but impossible for her to find work in her profession and amounted to a breach of her right to respect for privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Mr Justice Foskett ruled that the disclosures were ‘disproportionate’ and that the nurse should have been given an opportunity to make representations before they were made. ‘I do not consider that the risks generated by the possibility of occasional heavy-handedness outweigh the claimant's right to respect for private life,’ he said.

The ruling means that the disclosures will be expunged from J's ECRC and opens the way for her to seek compensation from the Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police as ‘just satisfaction’ for the breach of her human rights.