Implementing Information Privacy Rights in Ireland
Egan (ed.), International Human Rights: Perspectives from Ireland (Dublin: Bloomsbury, 2015)
15 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2015
This chapter examines the reception of international human rights norms on privacy into Irish law.
It looks at the interaction between the domestic constitutional right to privacy and privacy rights under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights and identifies factors which have led to international norms having limited influence in the Irish legislature and courts. It discusses in particular the way in which surveillance practices have been concealed from public view - by using surveillance for intelligence rather than evidential purposes the state has succeeded in avoiding scrutiny of a number of practices of dubious legality and has evaded the application of ECHR norms.
The chapter then assesses recent developments - including the growth of Ireland as a technology industry hub and the influence of cases such as Schrems and Digital Rights Ireland - which are increasingly making Ireland a key jurisdiction in debates over surveillance and access to user data. It also assesses the growing role of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in this area, examining the ways in which it expands on the ECHR right to privacy and the tactical and strategic advantages it gives to litigants.
Keywords: privacy, data protection, data retention, surveillance, European Convention on Human Rights, Charter of Fundamental Rights, Ireland,
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