Jason Beer QC and Bobby Talalay appear in the Court of Appeal for the NPCC in significant case concerning police recruitment

20 October 2020

Jason Beer QC and Bobby Talalay appeared in the Court of Appeal for the National Police Chiefs’ Council in an appeal concerning the lawfulness of the legislative scheme governing the disclosure of convictions and cautions (including youth cautions) by applicants for offices of ‘utmost integrity’, including the office of constable: R (RD) v Secretary of State for Justice & The National Police Chiefs’ Council [2020] EWCA Civ 1346

The Court sought to distinguish between the lawfulness of retention, of disclosure, and of use of youth cautions, and was only concerned with the lawfulness of the framework governing the second question of disclosure. The Court held that the disclosure framework was accessible and foreseeable and was thus ‘in accordance with the law’. In deciding that the scheme was also proportionate, the Court first considered that the Secretary of State was entitled to draw a ‘bright line rule’ in a matter such as this. In considering whether that bright line had been drawn in the right place, the Court relied on the combined evidence of the Secretaries of State and the NPCC to the effect that the office of constable required the utmost integrity; that public trust and confidence in the police service required that complete disclosure, including of youth cautions, was given at the recruitment stage; and disclosure was required in order to make informed decisions as to the deployability of an applicant if they became a constable. In making that finding, the Court of Appeal distinguished the recruitment of constables from a general statement made by Lord Sumption as to the purpose of youth cautions in P [ [2020] AC 185 at [64]. The scheme of disclosure was accordingly proportionate and the appeal of the Secretaries of State was allowed.

A copy of the Judgment can be found online here.

Jason Beer QC and Bobby Talalay were instructed on behalf of the National Police Chiefs’ Council.


Authors

Jason Beer KC

Call 1992 | Silk 2011

Robert Talalay

Call 2010

Related areas

Police Law

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