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Sussex campaigner in data appeal
6:30pm Thursday 31st January 2013 in News
An 88-year-old political campaigner’s legal battle to have details about his attendance at various protests including Smash EDO removed from a police “extremism” database has reached the Court of Appeal.
John Catt, from Brighton, argues that as he has not engaged in any crime, the retention of data about him on the National Domestic Extremism Database is unlawful.
Last year, Mr Catt – who said that his human rights were being violated – urged two judges at the High Court in London to order the removal of details about his activities from the database, which is operated by police chiefs.
But Lord Justice Gross and Mr Justice Irwin dismissed his judicial review claim, ruling that his right to privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights was not infringed.
He is now asking Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson, sitting with Lord Justice Moore-Bick and Lord Justice McCombe, to overturn that decision.
Mr Catt’s lawyer, Mr Shamik Dutta, of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, said: “The Court of Appeal will determine whether protesters forgo the right to privacy if they engage in peaceful protest.
“If the appeal is successful, police forces will need to review the way in which they gather and retain information about protesters who have never committed any offence.”
The Equality and Human Rights Commission said in a statement the retention of personal information on the database contravenes peaceful protesters’ human rights.
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