Do sex offenders deserve the right to appeal?

Paedophiles and rapists have been given the right to appeal against having their name on the sex offenders’ register for life. But do they still pose a threat to society?

It has been announced that criminals in England and Wales have won the right to appeal against having their names recorded on the sex offenders’ register for life.

The proposals follow a decision made in the Supreme Court last year and rejected a Home Office challenge to rulings that the lifetime registration policybreaches the human rights of criminals.

Currently, anyone sentenced to at least 30 months in prison for a sexual offence is placed on the register for life without any right to review. They must inform the police of personal details, changes of address and journies abroad.

In response to the ruling, president of the court Lord Phillips said it was obvious that there must be some circumstances in which an appropriate tribunal could reliably conclude that the risk of an individual re-offending could be denounced.


In 2008, two sex offenders appealed to the high court, where three judges ruled that their indefinite registration with no right of review was ‘incompatible’ with their rights to privacy.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg assured public protection from paedophiles and rapists will not be weakened by letting them bid to have their names removed from the sex offenders’ register, but that the government was obliged to act on the Supreme Court ruling.

‘The last thing I want to see is people who have committed serious sexual offences disappear off the radar screen,’ he said. ‘We have some of the toughest and best checks and controls on sex offenders anywhere in the world and we are not going to let our guard down.’

Clegg continued: ‘I am personally and staunchly opposed to anything which weakens public protection against people who have committed really serious – in some cases almost evil – sexual offences. We are not going to do that.’

Home Office officials are currently preparing new rules after failing to overturn the declaration that it’s a breach of offenders’ human rights to be put on the register for life with no review.

Should sex offenders’ have the right to appeal? Does everyone deserve a second chance? Perhaps you fear the ruling will release predators who have no care for redemption? Post your comments now…

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