High Court Considers Rehabilitation Of Offenders

There are strong arguments as to why those who have been found guilty and convicted of crimes of violence or dishonesty should be refused entry into careers that deal with members of the public. It is accepted that most people support the idea of Rehabilitation of Offenders the dilemma still remains as the case of a pharmacy student who hid his conviction, by omitting it from hid application form, and was subsequently dismissed by his university.

While the student has attained the necessary entry requirements for the University’s pharmacy course, on his pre-entry form he omitted the fact that at 14 he had been found guilty of robbery and assault, although he had not been in any trouble since he should have disclosed the facts.

When the students criminal history was discovered, he related the information he had been given by his probation officer that as a spent conviction there was no need to disclose. Despite this the university expelled him citing the reasons as dishonesty which gave rise to questions about his ability to work as a pharmacist.

The student asked for a judicial review on his expulsion from university. The Court recognised that the university had to uphold the standards required by the General Pharmaceutical Council to maintain their endorsement. It also had to have some screening processes to ensure students who are ultimately going to work with vulnerable people and deal with prescription drugs would be trustworthy.

The university had a policy to check prospective students background to include any convictions, this policy has to be fair to the student in relation to his privacy and the safety of the public. The Court upheld the students challenge and as the university failed to investigate further to check the background details and this caused the university to expel the student which made the decision fundamentally flawed.

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