Sentence Review Commissioners: UK Data Protection Legislation

 Data Controller Details:

The Office of the Sentence Review Commissioners
First Floor
Laganside Court
Oxford Street

Telephone:  02890 412968

Why are you processing my personal information?

The work of the Sentence Review Commissioners (SRC) has its origins in the ‘Agreement’ reached on Good Friday (10th April) 1998 between the participants in the multi-party negotiations, subsequently endorsed by referendum.

The part of the Agreement dealing with prisoners committed Governments to putting in place mechanisms to provide for an accelerated programme for the release of prisoners convicted of scheduled offences in Northern Ireland or of similar offences elsewhere. The arrangements were to protect the rights of individual prisoners under national and international law.

The Government gave effect to this commitment through the provisions of:

  • Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 (the Act)
  • Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998 (Sentence Review Commissioners’) Rules 1998 (the Rules).

The Act provides for the appointment of Commissioners and sets out the criteria that must be met for a prisoner to be eligible for early release on licence. The Rules set out in detail the procedures under which prisoners apply for early release and the Commissioners consider their applications.

The legislation gives the Sentence Review Commissioners a lawful basis for processing personal data. The UK GDPR Law Enforcement Directive allows for the flow of information on the execution of criminal penalties. Article 5 of the General Data Processing Regulation (GDPR) allows for further processing of personal data for archiving, historical research or statistical purposes. The SRC may use anonymised case data for historical and or statistical purposes. 

Links to Legislation

The Act:

The Rules:

What categories of personal data are you processing?

The Office of the Sentence Review Commissioners (SRC) processes sensitive personal information. Categories of information processed include:

  • The application form which is received from the prisoner or his representatives;
  • The Northern Ireland Office provides information in the form of response papers; and
  • Both parties may apply to submit supplementary papers via ancillary application at any time.

The information provided may include:

  • Name, date of birth and prison number;
  • Police records, interview records, police statements;
  • Witness statements;
  • Criminal records;
  • Medical reports;
  • Psychological/psychiatric reports;
  • Sentencing remarks from the courts; and
  • Witness and character references.

Where do you get my personal data from?

The Office of the Sentence Review Commissioners receives your personal information from two sources:

  • Parties to the proceedings; and
  • Northern Ireland Office.

Prisoner personal and sensitive information is considered by the Sentence Review Commissioners in order that they can make fully informed decisions about each individual prisoner’s suitability for release on licence.

Do you share my personal data with anyone else?

The SRC Secretariat provides administrative support to independent Sentence Review Commissioners, who make their decisions on the suitability for release on the basis of the information provided to them.

 The secretariat shares your personal data with:

  • The Independent Sentence Review Commissioner;
  • Parties to the proceedings;
  • A special Advocate, if one has been appointed; and
  • In the event of a judicial review the data will be shared with the SRC legal Advisors, who will represent the SRC at Court.

Retention of Personal Data

We will only retain your data for as long as necessary to process your case in accordance with the Act and the Rules, and in line with the SRC’s retention and disposal schedule.

What rights do I have?

If you would like more detailed information about your rights under the General Data Protection Regulations you can visit:

How do I complain if I am not happy?

The Northern Ireland Office have appointed a Data Protection Officer. This Officer will deal with any issues you have with this privacy notice, or how your personal information is being processed. The DPO for the NIO is

If you are still not happy, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO):

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Telephone:  0303 123 1113