S, Regina (on Application of) v South Yorkshire Police; Regina v Chief Constable of Yorkshire Police ex parte Marper: HL 22 Jul 2004

Police Retention of Suspects DNA and Fingerprints

The claimants complained that their fingerprints and DNA records taken on arrest had been retained after discharge before trial, saying the retention of the samples infringed their right to private life.
Held: The parts of DNA used for testing are not generally capable of revealing medical information about the source. ‘the difference in treatment of the appellants and those who have not been investigated and provided fingerprints is not a proscribed ground under article 14.’
The retention of samples was not an infringement of the claimants human rights.’ Baroness Hale of Richmond (dissenting in part) said: ‘it is common ground that the taking of fingerprints and DNA samples is an interference with the article 8(1) right, even though the invasion of bodily integrity involved is minimal. It is also common ground that the use of the information derived from them is such an interference. This must be because the information is regarded as intrinsically private. If the taking and use of the information is an interference, it is difficult to see why the retention, storage or keeping of that information is not also an interference. ‘
Reference may properly be made to explanatory notes issued with a bill as an aid to its construction.
Article 14 did not cover differential treatment on the basis that a person had previously been investigated by the police and provided fingerprints; the possession of fingerprints and DNA samples by the police in that situation was simply a matter of historical fact, not attributable to the personal characteristics of those who had provided them.
Otherwise: LS, Regina (on application of) v South Yorkshire Police (Consolidated Appeals)

Lord Steyn Lord Rodger of Earlsferry Baroness Hale of Richmond Lord Carswell Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood
[2004] UKHL 39, Times 23-Jul-2004, [2004] 1 WLR 2196, [2004] 4 All ER 193, [2004] UKHRR 967
House of Lords, Bailii
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 64(1A), Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, European Convention on Human Rights 8(1) 14
England and Wales
Appeal fromRegina (on the application of S) v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, Regina (Marper) v Same CA 12-Sep-2002
The applicants had been charged with offences, but later acquitted. On arrest they had had DNA samples and fingerprints taken, and the details added to the national DNA database. The police refused to remove the records after the acquittals.
CitedRegina v Forbes (Anthony Leroy) (Attorney General’s Reference No 3 of 1999) HL 19-Dec-2000
The provisions of the Code of Practice regarding identification parades are mandatory and additional unwritten conditions are not to be inserted. Where there was an identification and the suspect challenged that identification, and consented to the . .
CitedRegina v B (Attorney-General’s Reference No 3 of 1999); Regina v Weir CACD 26-May-2000
Where a defendant gave a sample of DNA during an investigation, but the sample was not destroyed on his acquittal, evidence obtained from a cross match relating to a different crime was not admissible. The statute requires the samples to be . .
CitedMcVeigh, O’Neill and Evans v United Kingdom ECHR 1981
(Commission) The Commission was asked whether the retention of fingerprints or samples amounts to an interference with the right to respect for private life.
Held: A distinction was made between the taking of fingerprints, photographs and . .
CitedRegina v Special Adjudicator ex parte Ullah; Regina v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 17-Jun-2004
The applicants had had their requests for asylum refused. They complained that if they were removed from the UK, their article 3 rights would be infringed. If they were returned to Pakistan or Vietnam they would be persecuted for their religious . .
CitedKinnunen v Finland ECHR 15-May-1996
(Commission) In a criminal case of fraud, the claimant said the retention of his photographs and fingerprints by the police after his acquittal, infringed his right to private life. The Commission rejected the complaint, but noted that the . .
CitedReyntjens v Belgium ECHR 1992
(Commission) ‘. . The obligation to carry an identity card and to show it to the police when requested to do so does not as such constitute an interference in a person’s private life within the meaning of Article 8 of the Convention’. . .
CitedSilver And Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 25-Mar-1983
There had been interference with prisoners’ letters by prison authorities. The Commission considered Standing Orders and Circular Instructions in relation to restrictions on correspondence. The rules were not available to prisoners and were . .
CitedGhaidan v Godin-Mendoza HL 21-Jun-2004
Same Sex Partner Entitled to tenancy Succession
The protected tenant had died. His same-sex partner sought a statutory inheritance of the tenancy.
Held: His appeal succeeded. The Fitzpatrick case referred to the position before the 1998 Act: ‘Discriminatory law undermines the rule of law . .
CitedCarson and Reynolds v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 17-Jun-2003
The claimant Reynolds challenged the differential treatment by age of jobseeker’s allowance. Carson complained that as a foreign resident pensioner, her benefits had not been uprated. The questions in each case were whether the benefit affected a . .
CitedAttorney General’s Reference (No 3 of 1999) (Lynn) HL 15-Dec-2000
A DNA sample had been wrongfully retained after the suspect had been acquitted, and the sample had been used in a later investigation to identify him. A subsequent sample had been taken, and the result of that second test had been used as evidence . .
CitedMichalak v London Borough of Wandsworth CA 6-Mar-2002
The appellant had occupied for a long time a room in a house let by the authority. After the death of the tenant, the appellant sought, but was refused, a statutory tenancy. He claimed to be a member of the tenant’s family, and that the list of . .
CitedKjeldsen, Busk, Madsen and Peddersen v Denmark ECHR 7-Dec-1976
The claimants challenged the provision of compulsory sex education in state primary schools.
Held: The parents’ philosophical and religious objections to sex education in state schools was rejected on the ground that they could send their . .
CitedCampbell v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd (MGN) (No 1) HL 6-May-2004
The claimant appealed against the denial of her claim that the defendant had infringed her right to respect for her private life. She was a model who had proclaimed publicly that she did not take drugs, but the defendant had published a story . .
CitedIn re McKerr (Northern Ireland) HL 11-Mar-2004
The deceased had been shot by soldiers of the British Army whilst in a car in Northern Ireland. The car was alleged to have ‘run’ a checkpoint. The claimants said the investigation, now 20 years ago, had been inadequate. The claim was brought under . .
CitedLeander v Sweden ECHR 26-Mar-1987
Mr Leander had been refused employment at a museum located on a naval base, having been assessed as a security risk on the basis of information stored on a register maintained by State security services that had not been disclosed him. Mr Leander . .
CitedRegina v Dyment CCC 1988
The court referred to ‘informational privacy’ – ‘This notion of privacy derives from the assumption that all information about a person is in a fundamental way his own, for him to communicate or retain for himself as he sees fit.’ . .
CitedFriedl v Austria ECHR 31-Jan-1995
The Commission distinguished between the taking and keeping of photographs without identifying the subjects, and police questioning in order to establish identity and the recording of these personal data; the former was not an interference with . .
AppliedWestminster City Council v National Asylum Support Service HL 17-Oct-2002
The applicant sought assistance from the local authority. He suffered from spinal myeloma, was destitute and an asylum seeker.
Held: Although the Act had withdrawn the obligation to provide assistance for many asylum seekers, those who were . .
At First InstanceRegina (S) v Chief Constable of South Yorkshire; Regina (Marper) v Same Admn 22-Mar-2002
The police authority took samples of DNA and fingerprints from the claimants whilst under arrest. After their cases had been dismissed or failed, they requested destruction of the samples and records, but this was refused.
Held: There was no . .
FollowedKjeldsen, Busk Madsen and Pedersen v Denmark ECHR 7-Dec-1976
The court discussed the meaning of ‘other status’ under article 14, saying: ‘Article 14 prohibits, within the ambit of the rights and freedoms guaranteed, discriminatory treatment having as its basis or reason a personal characteristic (‘status’) by . .

Cited by:
CitedMorris, Regina (on the Application of) v Westminster City Council and Another Admn 7-Oct-2004
The applicant questioned the compatibility of s185 of the 1996 Act with Human Rights law. The family sought emergency housing. The child of the family, found to be in priority housing need, was subject also to immigration control. Though the matter . .
CitedAttorney General’s Reference (No 5 of 2002) HL 14-Oct-2004
The Attorney General sought the correct interpretation of section 17 where a court was asked as to whether evidence obtained from a telephone tapping had been taken from a public or private network. A chief constable suspected that the defendants, . .
CitedA v Secretary of State for the Home Department, and X v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 16-Dec-2004
The applicants had been imprisoned and held without trial, being suspected of international terrorism. No criminal charges were intended to be brought. They were foreigners and free to return home if they wished, but feared for their lives if they . .
CitedR, Regina (on the Application of) v Durham Constabulary and Another HL 17-Mar-2005
The appellant, a boy aged 15, had been warned as to admitted indecent assaults on girls. He complained that it had not been explained to him that the result would be that his name would be placed on the sex offenders register. The Chief Constable . .
CitedHooper and Others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions HL 5-May-2005
Widowers claimed that, in denying them benefits which would have been payable to widows, the Secretary of State had acted incompatibly with their rights under article 14 read with article 1 of Protocol 1 and article 8 of the ECHR.
Held: The . .
CitedAl-Jedda, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Defence Admn 12-Aug-2005
The claimant was born an Iraqi, but had been granted British Nationality. He was later detained in Iraq suspected of membership of a terrorist group. No charges were brought, and he complained that his article 5 rights were infringed. The defendant . .
CitedFrancis v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions CA 10-Nov-2005
The applicant had sought payment of a ‘Sure Start’ maternity grant. She had obtained a residence order in respect of her sister’s baby daughter who had been taken into care. She said that a payment would have been made to the partner of a mother or . .
CitedSecretary of State for Work and Pensions v M HL 8-Mar-2006
The respondent’s child lived with the estranged father for most of each week. She was obliged to contribute child support. She now lived with a woman, and complained that because her relationship was homosexual, she had been asked to pay more than . .
CitedIn re P and Others, (Adoption: Unmarried couple) (Northern Ireland); In re G HL 18-Jun-2008
The applicants complained that as an unmarried couple they had been excluded from consideration as adopters.
Held: Northern Ireland legislation had not moved in the same way as it had for other jurisdictions within the UK. The greater . .
CitedAL (Serbia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; Rudi v Same HL 25-Jun-2008
Each claimant had arrived here with their parents, and stayed for several years. They were excluded from the scheme allowing families who had been here more than three years to stay here, because they had attained 18 and were no longer dependant on . .
CitedCountryside Alliance and others, Regina (on the Application of) v Attorney General and Another HL 28-Nov-2007
The appellants said that the 2004 Act infringed their rights under articles 8 11 and 14 and Art 1 of protocol 1.
Held: Article 8 protected the right to private and family life. Its purpose was to protect individuals from unjustified intrusion . .
At House of LordsMarper v United Kingdom; S v United Kingdom ECHR 16-Jan-2007
Decision as to admissibility – the applicants complained of the retention by police of DNA and fingerprint samples and records.
Held: Admissible. . .
At House of LordsMarper v United Kingdom; S v United Kingdom ECHR 27-Feb-2008
Grand Chamber – Press Release – The applicant complained of the retention by the police of DNA and fingerprint records – The applicants both complain about the retention of their fingerprints and DNA samples and the fact that they are being used in . .
At House of LordsMarper v United Kingdom; S v United Kingdom ECHR 4-Dec-2008
(Grand Chamber) The applicants complained that on being arrested on suspicion of offences, samples of their DNA had been taken, but then despite being released without conviction, the samples had retained on the Police database.
Held: . .
CitedAttorney General’s Reference No 3 of 1999: Application By the British Broadcasting Corporation To Set Aside or Vary a Reporting Restriction Order HL 17-Jun-2009
An application was made to discharge an anonymity order made in previous criminal proceedings before the House. The defendant was to be retried for rape under the 2003 Act, after an earlier acquittal. The applicant questioned whether such a order . .
CitedLondon Borough of Lewisham v D and Others FD 29-Mar-2010
The local authority was investigating allegations involving the family history of children in their care. They sought disclosure by the respondent police authority of the results DNA comparison tests to assist their investigations. The court . .
CitedRegina (GC) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis; Regina (C) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis Admn 16-Jul-2010
The claimants had each had biometric samples taken during police investigations, and now sought judicial review of the decision of the respondent not to remove those details from the Police National Computer, saying that in accordance with the . .
CitedGC v The Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis SC 18-May-2011
The court was asked to decide from whom DNA samples could lawfully be taken by the Police,and for how long they should be kept. The first respondent now said that a declaration of incompatibility of section 64(1A) could not be avoided.
Held: . .
CitedTW v London Borough of Enfield and Another QBD 8-May-2013
The claimant sought damages after being detained under the 1983 Act, and a declaration that the section used was incompatible with her human rights.
Held: The test for allowing proceedings was set at a low level, and even if section 139 does . .
CitedT and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department and Another SC 18-Jun-2014
T and JB, asserted that the reference in certificates issued by the state to cautions given to them violated their right to respect for their private life under article 8 of the Convention. T further claims that the obligation cast upon him to . .
CitedGaughran v Chief Constable of The Police Service of Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland) SC 13-May-2015
The court was asked as to to the right of the Police Service of Northern Ireland to retain personal information and data lawfully obtained from the appellant following his arrest for the offence of driving with excess alcohol.
Held: The appeal . .
CitedBridges, Regina (on The Application of) v South Wales Police CA 11-Aug-2020
. .
CitedStott, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for Justice SC 28-Nov-2018
Extended Determinate Sentence created Other Status
The prisoner was subject to an extended determinate sentence (21 years plus 4) for 10 offences of rape. He complained that as such he would only be eligible for parole after serving two thirds of his sentence rather than one third, and said that . .

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Police, Human Rights

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Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.199677