Law Reform Commission yet to examine Irish surveillance laws

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald

A review by the Law Reform Commission of Ireland’s surveillance laws has been postponed, the Irish Examiner reports.

Last November, Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald suggested requesting that the Commission “carry out a review of the law”.

However, the Commission has confirmed it has not been contacted by the Government and is not examining the issue.

Ms Fitzgerald is expected to brief the Cabinet over the next few weeks over her legislative plans to extend phone-tapping laws to include email and Internet communications.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said: “In the context of the ongoing work in developing legislative proposals in this area and the need to take into account the implications of the evolving case law of the European Court of Justice, including the Tele 2/Watson judgment, it was decided to await the decision of the Government in respect of certain aspects of the proposals that would have been referred to the Law Reform Commission.

“Once the Government has decided on the course of action to be taken in respect of the proposals for the law in this area, a request will be made to the Law Reform Commission to examine a number of legal issues relating to privacy and communications, including developments at EU level.”

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