On 23 April 2014, the Slovak Constitutional Court preliminary suspended effectiveness of the Slovak implementation of Data Retention Directive, which was repealed as invalid by the Court of Justice of the European Union only this month. Slovak Constitutional Court did so in a pending proceedings (PL. ÚS 10/2014), which was initiated by European Information Society Institute (EISi) with support of 30 Members of Parliament. Although the case is already pending for before the Court since October 2012, the Court decided to issue this preliminary measure and accept the case for the further review only now.
Preliminary suspension of effectiveness means that the retention laws are still formally valid, but have no legal effect until the Court decides on the merits of the complaint. The Court, however, suspended only provisions that are mandating data retention itself, while leaving provisions on access to those information intact for now. This means that providers of electronic communication will soon lose any legal obligation to store data about users. Any storage of the meta-data of users will thus need to be limited to general regime of Directive on privacy and electronic communications until the Court finally resolves the case.
This week, EISi also issued an opinion on the scope of application of the decision of the CJEU in Digital Rights Ireland C-293/12 and Kärntner Landesregierung C-594/12 (see below). In the submission, it is argued, first, that the Constitutional Courts are bound by the Union's human rights standards when reviewing national data retention legislations because the data retention is a foreseen derogation from the general data protection framework, and thus inevitably falls into scope of the Union law (Art. 51(1) of the EU Charter). And second, that CJEU explicitly rejected blanket and indiscriminate data retention.
EISi is a Slovak-based non-profit organization focusing on the overlap of technology, law & information society. It conducts strategic litigation and regularly submits amicus curiae briefs before the courts in juristically or socialy important cases. It also serves as a non-academic research center for Internet law and Intellectual Property law.