Indefinite. Restriction lift date: 10000-01-01
The analytical approach of the European Court of Human Rights in surveillance cases—the implications, justifications, and future of the Court’s reasoning, with a focus on the legislative impact in Ireland
Murphy, Maria Helen
University College Cork
A notable feature of the surveillance case law of the European Court of Human Rights has been the tendency of the Court to focus on the “in accordance with the law” aspect of the Article 8 ECHR inquiry. This focus has been the subject of some criticism, but the impact of this approach on the manner in which domestic surveillance legislation has been formulated in the Party States has received little scholarly attention. This thesis addresses that gap in the literature through its consideration of the Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act, 1993 and the Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act, 2009. While both Acts provide several of the safeguards endorsed by the European Court of Human Rights, this thesis finds that they suffer from a number of crucial weaknesses that undermine the protection of privacy. This thesis demonstrates how the focus of the European Court of Human Rights on the “in accordance with the law” test has resulted in some positive legislative change. Notwithstanding this fact, it is maintained that the legality approach has gained prominence at the expense of a full consideration of the “necessary in a democratic society” inquiry. This has resulted in superficial legislative responses at the domestic level, including from the Irish government. Notably, through the examination of a number of more recent cases, this project discerns a significant alteration in the interpretive approach adopted by the European Court of Human Rights regarding the application of the necessity test. The implications of this development are considered and the outlook for Irish surveillance legislation is assessed.
Surveillance , Privacy , Article 8 ECHR
Murphy, M. H. 2013. The analytical approach of the European Court of Human Rights in surveillance cases—the implications, justifications, and future of the Court’s reasoning, with a focus on the legislative impact in Ireland. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.