The Data Protection News

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Data protection case before the ECHR Grand Chamber

Relinquishment of jurisdiction in favour of the Grand Chamber in the case of S. and Michael Marper v. the United Kingdom
The Chamber to which the case of S. and Michael Marper v. the United Kingdom had been allocated has relinquished jurisdiction in favour of the Grand Chamber. The case concerns the storing, by the authorities, of fingerprints and DNA samples taken from the applicants in the context of unsuccessful criminal proceedings against them. S., who had been prosecuted for attempted robbery, was ultimately acquitted, and the proceedings against Mr Marper, who was accused of harassment, were dropped. Both requested that the fingerprints and DNA samples be destroyed, but this was refused.

The hearing is on 27.2.2008.

It is profoundly a data protection case, which reminds, inter alia, the lack of protection in the law enforcement sector, in conjuction with the Council of Europe experts thoughts on the addition of a special data protection right in the list of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In several countries, there are broad exemptions and restrictions of the data subject's rights and the powers of the DPAs, with regard police and criminal justice files. Given the limited competence of the EU regarding these state's core issues, the Council of Europe appears as the appropriate forum to provide for binding instruments in this sector.

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