Legislation means removal of some criminal convictions

New legislation is being introduced in the Republic of Ireland to allow for the removal of certain criminal convictions.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter is due to publish the bill.

It allows for a conviction to be declared spent as long as the offender does not commit any further crime for a period of between three and seven years.

The changes are aimed at helping those who no longer commit crime to get work.

The Criminal Justice Spent Convictions Bill will apply to custodial sentences of one year or less, as well as a range of other non-custodial convictions.

It only applies to offenders sentenced to 12 months or less, or to lesser penalties such as fines or community service.

Under the new legislation, offenders must remain conviction-free for three years after a small fine, or seven years if he or she has served a one-year jail sentence.

Sexual offences, as well as those tried by the Criminal Court, are excluded.

No more than two convictions per person may become spent.

Not all jobs are covered by the changes - those excluded include: those relating to the security of the State, the administration of justice and other sensitive positions.

People applying for certain licences, such as taxis or private security, will have to disclose their convictions when applying.