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Human rights

Respect for private and family life - Interference with - Indefinite retention by police of DNA samples taken from convicted persons - Whether breach of convicted person's Convention right to private life - Whether lawful - Human Rights Act 1998, Sch 1 Pt I, art 8 Gaughran v Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (Secretary of State for the Home Department intervening [2015] UKSC 29; [2015] WLR (D) 214

19 May 2015

SC: Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury PSC, Baroness Hale of Richmond DPSC, Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore, Lord Clarke of Stone-cum-Ebony, Lord Sumption JJSC

• 13 May 2015

The policy in Northern Ireland, England and Wales of retaining indefinitely the DNA samples and other information obtained from persons who were arrested and subsequently convicted of an offence was proportionate and justified, and was within the margin of appreciation afforded to member states. A convicted person's the right to respect for his private life guaranteed by article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms was therefore not infringed when the police refused to give him an assurance that his DNA samples would be destroyed.

The Supreme Court so held (Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore dissenting) when dismissing the appeal of the applicant...

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