Today the District Court of The Hague ruled the Dutch Data Retention Act inoperable in summary proceedings. You can find the Dutch judgment here. And for those not reading Dutch, we have made a quick unofficial (!) English translation of the judgment, which you can download here.
For many EU Member States it was clear that since the EU Court of Justice on 8 April 2014 had ruled the Data Retention Directive invalid, with retroactive effect, the national implementation laws would also be invalid. The Dutch government opted for a different strategy. It retained (pun intended) the law as is, while thinking about amending the law in the future.
This was deemed an unacceptable course of action by Privacy First, The Dutch Lawyers Committee on Human Rights, The Dutch Association of Journalists and three companies that are providers of telecommunication services and public telecommunication networks. They sued the Dutch State, and today they won.
Today the Court ruled in its summary proceedings that the Dutch Data Retention Act, which was directly based on the invalidated Directive, was in violation of articles 7 and 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as it provided insufficient safeguards to counter the objections that the Court of Justice had against the Data Retention Directive.
The short and sweet of the ruling :
This all leads the court stating:
“3.12. All this leads to the conclusion that the [Dutch Data Retention Act] in its current form is a violation of the rights protected by articles 7 and 8 of the Charter which is not limited to the absolute necessary and thus needs to be qualified as an unacceptable. In light of this the [Dutch Data Retention Act] is unmistakably nonbinding. The provisional court is aware that making the [Dutch Data Retention Act] inoperable may have profound implications for the detection and prosecution of offences. That however does not justify the continuation of the aforementioned violation.”
Read the full unofficial, quick, translation of the judgment here.