Friday, May 03, 2024

Data retention in Ireland: When European law meets national recalcitrance

I've just finished writing a chapter on data retention law in Ireland for a forthcoming collection edited by Eleni Kosta and Irene Kamara. It examines how, from the judgment in Digital Rights Ireland onwards, the Irish state has fought a rearguard action against compliance with EU fundamental rights.


This chapter examines the development of data retention in Ireland following the CJEU judgments in Digital Rights Ireland and Tele2 Sverige. It describes how the Irish State continued to enforce national data retention law for six years after Tele2 Sverige confirmed its illegality, attempted to re-litigate the legality of indiscriminate data retention before the national courts, and reformed domestic law only when forced to act by the CJEU decision in GD v Commissioner of An Garda Síochána. It assesses how national oversight mechanisms largely failed to address this illegality and argues that the data retention saga has highlighted significant weaknesses in the criminal justice system, the ‘designated judge’ model of supervising surveillance, and the accountability of the executive to parliament.

Full text on SSRN

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