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Canada-EU counter-terror data exchange is illegal, says top EU judge

Peter Sayer | Sept. 9, 2016
The opinion of the attorney general of the Court of Justice of the EU is not binding on the court

His opinion was greeted with a mixture of delight and dismay.

Timothy Kirkhope MEP, Justice and Home Affairs spokesman of the European Conservatives and Reformists group, described the opinion as irresponsible and said: "Given the level of the threat you have to ask what planet some of these lawyers live on. Law enforcement authorities all say we are continually playing catch-up on information flow and analysis, and the CJEU now risks setting back our efforts even further."

But Joe McNamee, Executive Director of lobby group European Digital Rights, agreed with the advocate general's disapproval of the deal. "Once again, the European Court is confirming that the European Commission has failed to understand the law. The European Commission has -- again -- failed in its basic function as the 'guardian of the treaties,'" he said.

If the full court follows Mengozzi's advice, then the data sharing agreement may not enter into force until those amendments are made. The opinions of the court's advocates general are not binding, but the court follows them in the majority of cases.

 

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