The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that South Yorkshire Police acted illegally in retaining the DNA of two people who were arrested but not charged.
Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life
- Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
- There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Seventeen senior judges decided unanimously that the retention of this information “could not be regarded as ‘necessary in a democratic society’”.
Smith is not taking this lying down, though. She said “The existing law will remain in place while we carefully consider the judgement.” Whisky Tango Foxtrot? Does this mean any defendant, duly pronounced guilty, may now remain at liberty and continue committing further instances of the offence with which they were charged while they “carefully consider the judgement” ?