Statement by the Minister for Justice and Equality on the judgment from the High Court


December 6, 2018


“The High Court has this morning issued its judgment in the case taken by Mr. Graham Dwyer regarding the current provisions in the law on access to communications metadata. 


This is a very detailed and lengthy judgment in what is a very complex and dynamic area of the law.  The Court’s judgment will have to be considered very carefully in order to identify exactly what actions are necessary and the advice of the Attorney General will have to be taken in that regard.


It is clear that the current legal framework allowing for access to communications meta-data to combat criminals and terrorists needs to be modernised in light of evolving jurisprudence.  Following an earlier Government decision, drafting a new Data Retention Bill is at an advanced stage and on the Government’s priority legislation list.  Many aspects of today’s judgement from the High Court are already referenced in the draft Bill and the Attorney General’s advice will be taken regarding further changes.


Mr. Dwyer is, in separate legal proceedings, appealing against his conviction for murder and in those circumstances it would not be appropriate to make any comment on those details of the case.  That appeal is a matter for the Courts.’’




 Note to Editors: The communications metadata referred to does not include content; it involves information such as origin, destination, route, time, date, size, duration or type of underlying service.