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R on the application of David Davis MP; Tom Watson MP; Peter Brice and Geoffrey Lewis [2015] EWHC 2092 (Admin)

DATE: 17 Jul 2015

In this case a Divisional Court (Bean LJ and Collins J) considered the legality in terms of EU law of section 1 of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 (DRIPA). DRIPA was passed as a consequence of the decision of the CJEU in Digital Rights Ireland Limited [2015] QB 127. This had held that the Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC contravened EU law. DRIPA was passed, in days, on a highly accelerated parliamentary timetable as a direct response to the Digital Rights judgment, in order to plug a gap left by the striking down of the Directive.

The Divisional Court held that the regime introduced by s1 of DRIPA suffered from the same defects as the Directive; and in particular allowed retained data to be accessed in circumstances that were not strictly confined to purposes related to the prevention of serious crime and without prior review by a court or independent administrative body. It granted an order disapplying s1; but suspending the effect of the order until after the 31st March 2016. This will allow for an appeal/and or further replacement legislation. 

Richard Drabble QC appeared for the claimants Mr Brice and Mr Lewis.