The retention of DNA from honourary criminals

On 7 August 2009, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has published its response to the government consultation paper: “Keeping the right people on the DNA database”.

The Commission acknowledges that the national DNA database is an important crime-solving tool and that retention of fingerprint and DNA information pursues the legitimate purpose of the detection and prevention of crime. However, in revising the law on DNA retention the government needs to strike a fair balance between that aim and the competing public interest of protecting individuals‟ right to privacy in order to comply with the European Convention on Human Rights (the Convention).

The Commission thinks that these proposals fail to strike the appropriate balance and if they become law are likely to breach art 8 of the Convention and be unlawful.

The response of the EHRC usefully exposes the manner in which the government in its ‘consultation’ distorted the evidence to support the conclusion it had already arrived at.

On 8 August, ‘The Times’ Reports that ACPO, a civilian organisation, has written to all Chief Constables instructing them to ignore the judgement of the European Court of Human Rights until the Home Office issues ‘guidelines’ on DNA retention next year.

This is now the second major adverse judgement against the Kingdom in the European Court of Human Rights relating to the Government’s treatment of its subjects; the response to which indicates the general attitude of the nomenclature to judgements it finds inconvenient.

One may question the efficacy of allowing any defendant country which, having been found guilty of human rights violations may determine for itself whether and to what extent it may comply with a judgement, contingent upon a ‘consultation’ which in one case, has gone on longer than the Second World War!

Similar threads

Latest Threads