Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (751)

Catherine Murphy


751. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice the status of the communications (retention of data) Bill. [38800/20]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

Progress on advancing the Communications (Data Retention and Disclosure) Bill is continuing and will take account of the outcome of the recent Supreme Court referral to the CJEU.

The CJEU judgment, which is expected early in 2021, will be examined carefully by officials in the Department in conjunction with the Office of the Attorney General. The judgment will inform the development and timing of the proposals to be brought forward with the priority of achieving the most effective crime prevention and investigative regime possible, having regard to the changing legal environment.

Data retention and access measures reach deep into Member States’ criminal justice systems, requiring a high level of legal certainty because of their significant implications for criminal investigations and prosecutions. The CJEU’s consideration of the questions referred will assist in bringing clarity to an evolving area of jurisprudence.

The revised General Scheme of the Communications (Data Retention and Disclosure) Bill, drafting of which is well advanced, will replace the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 taking account of the CJEU rulings in both Digital Rights Ireland and Tele 2 v Sverige and more recent rulings.

These issues are presenting challenges for law enforcement across the European Union and the European Commission, as well as several Member States including Ireland, have intervened in cases before the CJEU.