Many people are angry about the dramatic but predictable guidance opinion issued by the European Court of Justice’s advocate general on the Graham Dwyer case last week. But most people are angry about the wrong aspects of the case, which was referred from the Irish Supreme Court. Despite what the State and law enforcement would have you believe, this case is not about a supposedly desperate need to require communications companies to hold years of call data to adequately fight serious crime or terrorism.
Rather, it’s about the arrogance of successive Irish governments inexplicably ignoring a landmark ECJ ruling from 2014. It’s about them failing to transpose this decision, which they knew risked invalidating years of criminal convictions, and of choosing to disregard Europe’s highest court in the hope of – what? That its ruling would go away? And yet, in Brexit negotiations, Irish Government Ministers are telling the UK that it must respect the ECJ’s authority.