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Image / Editorial

Graham Dwyer phone data appeal to be referred to European Court of Justice

by Edaein OConnell
24th Feb 2020

The Supreme Court has ruled that the phone date retention case of Graham Dwyer is to be referred to the European Court of Justice

The Supreme Court has ruled to refer key elements of convicted murderer, Graham Dwyer’s mobile phone data retention case to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The decision was made this morning by seven judges at a Supreme Court sitting in Waterford.

It comes after the High Court found a 2011 law permitting phone data to be used in the murder trial was in fact in breach of EU law. The outcome will not be fully decided by the Irish Supreme Court until the CJEU makes a ruling.

A separate appeal by Dwyer over his murder conviction is still on hold.

Phone data

Mobile phone data played a major role in the 2015 murder case of childcare worker Elaine O’ Hara, whose remains were found in the Killakee Mountains in Rathfarnham in 2013. The phone data was key to identifying Dwyer as a suspect and subsequently led to his conviction.

According to RTÉ News, “Chief Justice Frank Clarke said he had expressed a view on three key issues in the case but because the answers involve matters of EU law and the answers are not clear, he intended to refer the issues to the Court of Justice of the EU in Luxembourg.”

The outcome of the case will have significant implications in the investigation of serious crimes.