Supreme Court refers Dwyer-related case to European court

February 24th, 2020 11:06 AM

By Siobhan Cronin

The case referred to mobile phone data used to convict murderer Graham Dwyer. (Photo: Collins Courts)

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THE Supreme Court has opted to refer a case regarding the retention of mobile phone data to the European Court of Justice.

The court sat in Waterford this morning to give its decision on the State's appeal against convicted murderer Bandon man Graham Dwyer's successful challenge to the retention and accessing of mobile phone data.

The seven judges gave their decision in Waterford this morning and it was televised live on RTE.

In his ruling, Chief Justice Frank Clarke said that it was his opinion that, as the matter referred to rulings made under EU law, then the EU should be consulted.

He allowed seven days for interested parties to send in observations which would be added to the text and he said it would then be referred to Europe.

Graham Dwyer's appeal against his conviction was put on hold pending the outcome of these proceedings, as Dwyer's legal team have argued that the High Court's decision (that the retention of mobile phone data was illegal) should stand.

One member of the Supreme Court dissented, saying that he believed that under the Treaty of Lisbon, Ireland had the option to opt out of certain EU laws, where it concerned criminal law. He also believed that because it may lead to the detection of serious crime, the retention of data should be allowed. Data cannot be accessed later, if it has never been retained originally, he argued.

However, as the majority of the court agreed with his decision, Chief Justice Frank Clarke ruled that the matter should be referred to the European Court of Justice.


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