An article in today’s Daily Telegraph raises important issues relating to the retention of the DNA of innocent persons by the police in both the UK and Ireland. It also raises profound questions as to the effect of decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in domestic law.
According to the Telegraph:
The [UK’s] Coalition Government has pledged to dramatically reduce the time period that police can retain samples of people who were not charged or convicted of offences. It follows a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in 2008 that a blanket policy of retaining such profiles indefinitely was illegal.
However, no new laws have yet been introduced and the Supreme Court will today hear a test case that such samples should be deleted now. If the country’s top court agrees it could result in police forces having to remove the samples immediately regardless of when new legislation is introduced.
The case is R (on the application of C) (FC) (Appellant) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (Respondent) (UKSC 2010/0186) …