State's appeal in Dwyer phone data challenge 'fully argued', Supreme Court hears

The Supreme Court previously passed the matter to the European Court of Justice to determine if Ireland's laws relating to mobile data retention were compatible with EU law
State's appeal in Dwyer phone data challenge 'fully argued', Supreme Court hears

High Court reporters

The Supreme Court has heard the State's appeal relating to Graham Dwyer's action over the use of mobile phone metadata as evidence to secure his conviction for murder has likely been "fully argued".

Sean Guerin SC, representing the State, said the parties will seek to agree on terms upon which the matter can be concluded.

He noted that oral arguments have already been given in both the Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the State’s appeal against a High Court decision that a 2011 data retention law should be struck down.

Mobile phone metadata played a central role in securing Dwyer’s conviction in 2015 for the murder of childcare worker Elaine O’Hara in 2012.

Last month, the ECJ upheld Dwyer’s challenge to the legality of Ireland’s metadata regime as set out in some provisions of the 2011 law.

The State’s appeal to the Supreme Court had been on hold pending the ECJ ruling, having asked the EU court to rule if the phone metadata retention system in Ireland breaches EU law.

The case has been returned to the Supreme Court to deliver its final judgment on the appeal.

When the matter returned to the Irish court for case management on Wednesday, Chief Justice Donal O’Donnell was told it was unlikely there would be a need for a further hearing of arguments.

Mr Guerin asked for a two-week adjournment so the parties could work to reach an agreement about the appropriate orders.

Mr Justice O’Donnell noted that any orders would need to be ruled on by the court.

The case management hearing was adjourned until later this month.

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