Fundamental Rights and Legal Consequences of Criminal Conviction

Ailbhe O'Loughlin (Editor), Sonja Meijer (Editor), Harry Annison (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthology


In many European countries offenders continue to be subject to numerous restrictions of fundamental rights after they have completed their sentence, in many cases indefinitely. For instance, potential employees may have to provide employers insight in their criminal records or provide a certificate of good conduct as part of pre-employment screening, thereby restricting the right to privacy and in some cases also the right to free movement of employees in the European Union. Furthermore, in most countries, unlike other civilians, the fingerprints or cellular samples of ex-offenders are registered thereby also constraining the right to privacy. Licenses, grants or contracts may be refused or withdrawn. In some countries, people convicted in respect of sex offences, or found not guilty by reason of insanity, have had to register as sex offender and/or notify the police of certain details, in particular their address. In the most extreme cases, offenders of sexual and violent crimes can be detained or restricted in their freedom of movement after they have served their punitive prison sentence, possibly indefinitely. And, finally, a criminal conviction can have serious consequences with regard to immigration, such as the denial or withdrawal of a residence permit or deprivation of nationality. These restrictions can be imposed by statute, a court or an administrative authority.

The principle aim of this edited collection is to chart and interrogate the legal consequences of a criminal conviction in a range of jurisdictions in order to stimulate academic discussion. We will look at the way legal restrictions on offenders are regulated by the law of different countries and the substantive and procedural safeguards associated with them. The focus will be on Europe, because in Europe – especially compared to the United States – little research has been done on this topic. However, the book does include a comparison with the United States and – with regard to sexual and violent offenders – Australia serves as an example of how preventive detention and post-sentence supervision systems have taken root and expanded, but also how they might be reformed. Second, this book aims to advance conceptual understandings of the legal consequences of criminal conviction. The rationales of and justifications for state punishment have been explored extensively, but the scope, principles and limits of legal consequences attached to criminal convictions still requires more doctrinal and conceptual research. For instance, can the legal consequences of criminal convictions be regarded as a penalty? And does the concept of proportionality apply to these consequences? How do these consequences relate to principles such as retribution, prevention of crime, protection of the public, restoration, and rehabilitation? Answering these questions will contribute to improving the legitimacy of decisions concerning the design and imposition of consequences of criminal conviction by developing an account of the principles and values that should guide and limit the state’s use of these restrictions. This will enable both legislators and practitioners to make better-founded choices about such restrictions.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherHart Publishing
Number of pages240
ISBN (Electronic)9781509920983
ISBN (Print)9781509920976
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2019

Publication series

NameOñati International Series in Law and Society
PublisherHart Publishing


  • Criminal Law
  • criminal justice
  • Criminology

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