Data Retention – Advocate General recommends Irish Government challenge should be rejected

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice has just given his Opinion (summary, PDF) on the Irish Government’s challenge and has recommended to the Court that the challenge should be rejected, holding that the Data Retention Directive was correctly dealt with as an internal market measure rather than a criminal justice measure (which would have required unanimity to pass). Opinions of the Advocate General aren’t binding but are generally followed by the Court, making it more likely that the Government’s challenge will now fail.

It’s important to point out, though, that this ruling only relates to the procedural way in which the Directive was passed. It doesn’t affect our case that the Directive breaches fundamental principles of human rights, and we still await a decision from the High Court referring these issues to the European Court of Justice.

Full text of the Advocate General’s opinion available here.

The German Working Group against Data Retention (Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung) is also bringing a legal challenge to data retention and has put out a press release on the Opinion.