Republic of Ireland Law
Republic of Ireland Law Questions Answered by Experts
1. When applying for financial or legal services in Ireland, one needs only to make reference to unspent foreign convictions. There is no need to refer to spent convictions as here it is the law of the place where the offence occurred which determines the effect of that conviction. A spent conviction under UK law for instance, does not become a criminal offence just because you are in Ireland. So if a conviction becomes spent in UK law, then there is no need to refer to it when filling in an Irish form. It also means that under Irish law, it is more advantageous to have been convicted of misdemeanours in the UK than in Ireland, where there is still no such thing as a spent conviction, although legislation along these lines is proceedings through the Irish Dail or Parliament.
2. I don't know where you are getting the idea that Irish law does not recognise the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act and that it does apply to English crimes. Irish law only applies to Irish crimes. There is no such thing or idea or practice as Irish law setting aside the effect of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act on English criminal offences. So spent English criminal offences do not have to be disclosed in Ireland. Similarly, you are under a duty to disclose unspent foreign offences and convictions. Finally, if you don't disclose, there is no penalty apart from that which applies to giving a false declaration.
3. Absent crime of genocide and such like under public international law, all crimes are territorially based. However, in the recognition by one legal system of the crimes of another legal system, it is to the lex tori, or law of crimes or to the proper law of the crime that the law of one country such as Ireland looks in order to determine the effect of the crime and its significance in the domestic legal order. Accordingly, in Ireland, under conflicts of law rules, we look to the lex tori or the proper law of the crime in order to determine the effect of the crime. Accordingly, in Irish law, where a crime has been committed in England & Wales, the Irish courts look to the law of the place where the crime has been committed or lex tori or proper law of the crime in order to determine the effect of the conviction. Accordingly, if a conviction is "spent" under English law, then that is how Irish law treats it. There is no need for a system of mutual recognition for crimes and their effect to be recognised. It is in this regard, that your opinions are not correct. There is no need for a system of mutual recognition for the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act to have effect. It is simply the general rules of conflicts of law which apply.