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Data Retention Directive Struck Down

The SECILE project welcomes today's CJEU ruling in striking down the disproportionality invasive Data Retention Directive

Today the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) struck down the EU’s Data Retention Directive as a disproportionate interference with fundamental rights. The SECILE project welcomes the CJEU decision on the EU’s Data Retention Directive. The CJEU declared that the Data Retention Directive is ‘invalid’ in a landmark ruling delivered today, and remarked, “data, taken as a whole, may provide very precise information on the private lives of the persons whose data are retained, such as the habits of everyday life, permanent or temporary places of residence, daily or other movements, activities carried out, social relationships and the social environments frequented.” While the court acknowledged that data retention is carried out ‘in pursuance of a genuine goal’, Prof. Fiona de Londras of Durham Law School, SECILE’s academic coordinator, in an article first published on Human Rights in Ireland ( notes that today’s ruling suggests that security does not have “some hyper-weighted status in the court’s analysis” ” so that security measures cannot interfere disproportionately with rights. SECILE first published a case study report - co-authored by Dr. Ben Hayes and Chris Jones at Statewatch – on the Data Retention Directive back in November 2013. It has been republished to coincide with today’s landmark ruling - the report can be downloaded by following this link: What now? As Prof. Fiona de Londras described in her reaction to the ruling, “The Commission meets to discuss the implications of the judgment on Friday, and we will no doubt soon see the beginnings of a new data retention system for the European Union Prof. de Londras added, “This should be welcome news for every European citizen.” Ends For comment or further information contact Sadhbh McCarthy Phone: 00353 86 8167581 Email: sadhbh SECILE (Securing Europe Through Counter-Terrorism: Impact, Legitimacy, and Effectiveness) is a part-EU funded project of assembled European human rights and legal research experts, tasked with exploring the true impact of European counter-terrorism policy since 2001. Editors’ notes: Background to the joined Irish and Austrian challenge . On the 9 July 2013, joined Irish and Austrian challenges to the Directive were heard in the CJEU, following national court referrals for an interpretation and ruling. The challenge contended that minimum data retention periods of between six months and two years, as set out in the Directive, are disproportionate measures in the fight against crime and terrorism . In December 2013, the CJEU Advocate General (AG) in the case, delivered an opinion which found in favour of the Irish and Austrian challengers, and paved the way for today’s positive ruling . The constitutional courts of Germany, Romania, and the Czech Republic already blocked the Directive’s transposition in their respective countries


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