Self-disclosure of previous convictions and alternatives to prosecution: guidance

Guidance on the rules of self-disclosure in relation to previous convictions and alternatives to prosecution under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 in Scotland.


1. This Guidance will apply when Part 2 of the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Act 2019 is commenced.

2. Please note that the version of the 2013 Order on the website may not show amendments made to the Order.

3. See section 56A of the UK Borders Act 2007.

4. A "relevant sentence" is any sentence other than an adjournment or deferral, (or, where applicable, a further adjournment or deferral) imposed on the person in respect of the conviction.

5. In some cases an ancillary order will have a disclosure period of 2 years. See section 5(2E) of the 1974 Act. See below for more guidance on this.

6. See section 5J(1)(c) of the 1974 Act.

7. The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland.

8. The Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.

9. Pronounced 'kayshun'.

10. The definition of "conviction" for the purposes of the 1974 Act includes findings in criminal proceedings that a person has committed an offence or done the act or made the omission charged (other than a finding linked with a finding of insanity, or as the case may be, a finding that a person is not criminally responsible under section 51A of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995). See section 1(4) of the 1974 Act.

11. See section 5G of the 1974 Act.

12. A "relevant sentence" is any sentence other than an adjournment or deferral or, where applicable a further such adjournment or deferral.

13. Although a conditional discharge is not a disposal under Scots Law, the absence of a specific Scottish equivalent means that the reference is retained to ensure that the amendments do not create a gap in the regime for people in Scotland who have received this disposal elsewhere in Great Britain.

Important Note: This is intended as general guidance only. It is not legal advice and must not be regarded as a definitive interpretation of the 1974 Act in Scotland. Anyone in doubt should seek their own legal advice.



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