Court of Appeal ruled that out-of-country appeals do not breach GDPR

The very recent case of Johnson v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 1032, has confirmed that there is no breach of the General Data Protection Regulation involved in hearing human rights appeals from abroad via video link.

Following Mr Johnson deportation to Jamaica in 2017, Mr Johnson argued that his appeal must be heard in the UK otherwise the use of his personal data will amount to a GDPR breach.

Lord Justice Dingemans was not convinced and dismissed the claim, pointing to the specific GDPR exception for legal proceedings:

… paragraph 14(3) of schedule 2 provides “as regards personal data … the listed GDPR provisions do not apply to the extent that the application of those provisions would be likely to prejudice … judicial proceedings”. In my judgment preventing the hearing of the appeal would prejudice judicial proceedings, and the restriction of the right to object is necessary and proportionate for the same reasons. Therefore, in my judgment, the appellant is not entitled to object to the processing of his data in the use of video link, and by transferring a bundle to the British High Commission.

Further assurances from the High Commission that the data would be deleted within seven days of the appeal were also accepted and therefore Lord Justice Dingemans decided that it would be proportionate to proceed with the out-of-country appeal anyway because of the legal proceedings exception.

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