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Balance of EU data law rights favours criminals - Martin Kenny TD

5 April, 2022 - by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Martin Kenny TD has called on the Minister for Justice to give clarity on the potential issues arising from a judgement of the European Court of Justice today in relation to data retention laws.

He has said the government needs to press for reform of EU law, the balance of which favours criminals.

Teachta Kenny said:

“My thoughts today are with the family of Elaine O’Hara, whose horrendous murder is again the subject of intense media coverage as a result of a case at the European Court of Justice concerning her murderer Graham Dwyer.

"The ruling of the ECJ this morning - following on from the issuing of an opinion of the Advocate General last year - is very concerning with respect to his conviction and to the investigation of serious crime.

"The government has had plenty of time to prepare for this ruling and how they may potentially react to it. Whilst the matter returns now to the Irish courts, the potential implications are very clear and we need immediate clarity on the impact this may have for other criminal investigations.

"Clearly the issue here is that EU law regarding the protection of privacy related to stored data outweighs the requirements of a judicial system to protect its citizens from dangerous criminals.

"I believe this needs to be reviewed at an EU level and the government must take the lead in pressing for reform. It is incumbent on the Minister for Justice to pursue this.

"People have a right to privacy and to expect their privacy to be maintained, however they also have the right to be protected from dangerous offenders.”

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