Right to erasure (right to be forgotten) under the GDPR – the danger of “rewriting history” or the individual’s chance to leave the past behind

Ketevan Kukava, PhD Student in Law, Tbilisi State University In the internet age, when vast amount of information can be stored indefinitely and can be easily retrieved by means of a mouse click, controlling one’s personal data seems a particularly difficult task to do. Complete erasure of data from digital memory once it becomes publicly available is questionable from technological and practical point of view. As a result, the burden of remembering past events and behavior after they have lost their relevance and permanent digital accessibility of information can have…

no sympathy from the ECJ

Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex If an EU citizen (or his or her family member) has been excluded from being a refugee, in what circumstances can he or she be expelled from a Member State? The ECJ clarified this issue in its K and HF judgment last week: its first ruling that touches on the relationship between EU (and international) refugee law and EU free movement law. There’s a good reason why these two areas of law haven’t interacted previously in the Court’s case law: EU law itself tries…

Brave new world? the new EU law on travel authorisation for non-EU citizens

Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex Introduction Yesterday it was announced that a new EU law on travel authorisation for non-EU citizens to visit the EU had been agreed. This will affect millions of travellers a year, probably including British citizens after Brexit. In fact, as a UK citizen who often travels to the continent, it’s the first EU law on non-EU immigration that will have a direct impact on me. The law won’t apply for awhile, but in light of its future significant impact and some public confusion about…

Torture victims and EU law

Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex What happens if an asylum seeker faces severe mental health problems that cannot be treated in the country of origin?  Today’s judgment of the ECJ in the MP case, following a reference from the UK Supreme Court, goes some way towards answering this question. Background The issue what we might call “medical cases” for asylum first of all arose before the European Court of Human Rights. In a series of judgments, that Court clarified whether the ban on torture or inhuman or degrading treatment,…

Violating data protection law under the guise of protecting it

Matthew White, PhD candidate Sheffield Hallam University. Introduction There have been numerous reports of Windrush Generation Commonwealth citizens being denied health care, detained, losing jobs and threats of deportation. Nick Nason describes the Windrush Generation as Commonwealth citizens from the West Indies who were invited to the UK after WWII to address the shortage of workers at the time. There was a time when West Indians enjoyed total freedom of movement. Nason notes that s.2(2)(b) of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 exempted from immigration controls those who arrived with their…

Salvation outside the church? The ECJ rules on religious discrimination in employment

Background The Court of Justice has issued its first major ruling on the reconciliation of the autonomy rights of religious organisations with the right of employees (or potential employees) of such organisations to be free of discrimination. In 2012 Vera Egenberger applied for a fixed term post advertised by the Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung, which is a body associated with the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (a German Protestant church). The post advertised sought a person who could prepare a report on Germany’s compliance with the United Nations International Convention…

Childhood’s End? The Court of Justice upholds unaccompanied child refugees’ right to family reunion

Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex Turning 18 is a big moment in any young person’s life. Although it rarely entails, by itself, an immediate change in their social and economic links with their parents, it is widely recognised as a significant rite of legal passage, marking as it does the official date of becoming an adult. But what if the main legal impact of turning 18 is not the enhancement of a young person’s legal rights, but rather their deterioration? That is often the scenario in immigration or asylum…

Extradition to non-EU countries – further developments in EU case law

Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex* Today’s ECJ judgment in Pisciotti on the extradition of citizens of a different Member State to a non-EU country (in this case, the USA) adds to its case law in this area – and has some interesting implications for Brexit. The new ruling builds on the September 2016 Petruhhin judgment on extradition of the citizens of another Member State to Russia, which I discussed in detail here. The case concerns an Italian citizen extradited to the USA after being arrested while in transit in…

A Personal Reflection on the Good Friday Agreement

Sarah Kay, human rights lawyer In the spring of 1998, I was a sulky, resentful young teenager. I had grown up in a tiny one-story house with my grandmother and my incoming, outgoing band of cousins. My grandfather, active in the Republican movement, had passed a few years before. I was very fortunate to be able to travel to the continent during the summer, where my parents had custody of me. It was a door to the outside world very few in West Belfast had access to. Our world was…

EU Law Analysis: EU Court Condemns the EU Legislative Process for Lack of Transparency: Time to Open Up?

Massimo Frigo, Senior Legal Adviser of the International Commission of Jurist’s Europe Programme* It is sometimes cases on obscure administrative processes that become landmark judgments in the ever constant building of our democratic legal systems. In the US Marbury v. Madison was a case that at the time attracted little attention as the subject matter related to respect of procedures in judicial appointments. This notwithstanding it came to be the legal milestone of constitutional review in the US legal system. In the European Union one of these cases was decided…