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SHPO and a right to be forgotten

SHPO and a right to be forgotten

Can you apply for a right to be forgotten Google removal with an SHPO in place

SHPO might be imposed for an undetermined time-period and as such, it could create difficulties in you being able to take down links to internet posts which relate to the conviction.

What is SHPO

SHPO and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

Can you delist articles from Google even if the SHPO is still in place

Should I apply for a discharge of the SHPO before making a right to be forgotten request

Help with right to be forgotten applications about criminal convictions

What is SHPO

An SHPO is a short term for Sexual Harm Prevention Order. A court may impose SHPO as part of a sentence following a conviction (with some exceptions) for sexual related criminal offence. An SHPO may only be imposed in circumstances where it is considered necessary for the purposes of protecting the public from sexual harm.

An SHPO might be imposed for a fixed period of time of 5 years or indefinitely, until discharged. You can ask the court to discharge the order at any time, provided the police support your request, or after 5 years of being placed under SHPO, without the support of the police.

SHPO and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act

A SHPO is considered a criminal conviction for the purpose of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. It means that it will have an impact on a right to be forgotten request from Google or from other search engines. When a conviction is considered as spent, for the purpose of the Rehabilitation of Offends Act, you are more likely to have links to articles that contain reports about the conviction, removed or delisted from internet search results. A SHPO will be considered spent when it expires, whether following a fixed period of 5 years or by an application for it to be discharged.

Can you delist articles from Google even if the SHPO is still in place

Yes. You can delist articles from Google and other search engines despite having SHPO in place. Whether the SHPO is discharged or still in place, is a factor in the delisting consideration for the search engine but not necessarily the most significant one.

If you have made an application under a right to be forgotten to a search engine, whilst having SHPO in place, it is likely that, at first, the search engine will refuse your right to be forgotten request by citing “public interest”. However, this doesn’t mean that you need to give up.

An argument by Google to refuse to delist articles about your criminal conviction because you are still subject to SHPO could be overcome by the very existence of the SHPO. This is why: having an SHPO in place means that the public interest is being protected by the SHPO and therefore having links to articles relating to the criminal conviction adds nothing to the public protection. The links only serve as an additional punishment of the offender whilst public interest is being served by the SHPO which provide for ongoing communication between the offender and the police.

Should I apply for a discharge of the SHPO before making a right to be forgotten request

Not necessary. First, it is possible to have a successful right to be forgotten request even with SHPO in place. The search engines have to consider each case on its own merits and if the circumstances of your case justify the delisting of links to news or to other articles about your conviction, then you should apply for them to be delisted. Second, if you are subject to SHPO, it is sometimes worth making a right to be forgotten application, even only to have it refused for a specific ground.

If the ground cited by the search engine is that the SHPO is still in place, then you can have it discharged and then go back to the search engine who is now committed to the ground cited previously. Search engines cannot chop and change the lawful grounds for processing your data.

Having SHPO discharged, could help turn the argument on its head and still support a delisting request as the argument will be that the court has felt that there was no longer public interest in having you subjected to SHPO so there cannot be a public interest in Google continuing to publish links to articles which report the conviction.

Help with right to be forgotten applications about criminal convictions

If your right to be forgotten case involves any complex issues, such criminal convictions, spent or unspent, court orders or any other issues that may fall outside what might be considered as a relatively straight forward right to be forgotten request, you should consider seeking legal advice.

Our team of lawyers help with right to be forgotten request of all types and our lawyers are some of the most experienced lawyers in the country in this field of law. It is very likely that our lawyers have already dealt with a case similar to yours so it is worth, at least, giving us a call to find out how we can help you succeed with your right to be forgotten application.

 

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Are you completely fed up with people Googling your name and judging you by old errors?

It's time to do something about it. If you need help in removing material from the internet, give us a call 0207 183 4123. We are the only law firm that specialises in this area of law. We have a lot of experience in this area and we promise that our friendly lawyers will put you at ease and help you in reclaiming your life. There is a high likelihood that we will be able to help you remove unwanted content from the internet, including articles, videos and social media posts.

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