rehabilitation of offenders
the principle of allowing people to 'write off' their conviction if they stay out of trouble: Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. The period required for rehabilitation varies with the seriousness of the original offence, and some cannot be extinguished. After the time has elapsed, the conviction becomes spent and the offender rehabilitated. The effect is that the conviction need not be revealed in various applications, although there are some exceptions that can be made by order. The spent conviction is not a good ground for dismissal from employment. Special rules apply where a spent conviction is the subject of defamation proceedings.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

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