Thursday, October 25, 2012

UK - Blow to Sarah's Law as judges rule human rights should be considered

Original Article


By Rosa Silverman

A High Court ruling said paedophiles should be allowed to make representations before their details are revealed to members of the public.
- The law is about ex-sex offenders, and not all ex-sex offenders are pedophiles.

Parents could have a harder time finding out if any paedophiles live nearby after a High Court ruling that sex offenders’ human rights to privacy should be considered.

In a judgement that lawyers say risks “watering down” what is known as Sarah’s Law, the court ruled that offenders should be given a say before their presence is disclosed.

Their human right to a family life should also be taken into account, the judges said.

In a test case brought by a repeat sex offender from the Sheffield area, two judges agreed he had the right to make "representations" to South Yorkshire police before local parents who made inquiries about him were told of his criminal past.

Sarah’s Law, started in 2008, allows parents to find out from police if someone has a record for child sexual offences.

Known formally as the child sex offender disclosure scheme (CSOD), it is named after Sarah Payne, who was murdered in 2000 at the age of eight by [name withheld], a paedophile.
- Was he truly a pedophile, by definition, or are people just labeling him as such just because he killed a child?  That doesn't make you a pedophile, it makes you a child killer.

But the new ruling could force a redrafting of the guidelines.

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