Supreme Court clarifies law on police retention of personal data

The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in R (Catt) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis & another; R (T) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2015] UKSC 9.  In this judgment (available here), the Supreme Court ruled that the police retention of narrative information about an individual’s activities, even when conducted in public, may interfere with the right to respect for privacy under article 8 and thus require justification.  However, the retention of information on the facts of the two cases before the court was found to have been lawful and proportionate. 


The case of Catt concerned police retention of information about a long-term peaceful protestor.  The case of T concerned retention of information about an alleged neighbour dispute.  Ms T had earlier in the proceedings secured the agreement of the Commissioner to destroy her data at the conclusion of the case.


Ms T was represented by Ruth Brander of Doughty Street, led by Paul Bowen QC of Brick Court Chambers.  Jude Bunting of Doughty Street, led by Nathalie Lieven QC of Landmark Chambers, intervened in the Catt appeal on behalf of the Network for Police Monitoring (NetPol).  A press statement from NetPol is available here.

« Back to listing

About cookies on our website

Following a revised EU directive on website cookies, each company based, or doing business, in the EU is required to notify users about the cookies used on their website.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience of certain areas of the site and to allow the use of specific functionality like social media page sharing. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but as a result parts of the site may not work as intended.

To find out more about what cookies are, which cookies we use on this website and how to delete and block cookies, please see our Which cookies we use page.

Click on the button below to accept the use of cookies on this website (this will prevent the dialogue box from appearing on future visits)