22 October 2009
The Romanian Constitutional Court (CCR) announced on 7 October 2009 that it took the decision to consider unconstitutional the Romanian implementation of the data retention directive.
The Romanian data retention law has been in force since the beginning of 2009, but it received a lot of bad press reviews, as reported by EDRi-gram at the beginning of the year. Several NGOs declared that they would contest the law. An initial appeal of the civil society to the Ombudsman was not successful, since the Ombudsman did not consider the law as unconstitutional and therefore he declared that he would not ask the opinion of the Constitutional Court.
The case that was decided by the Constitutional Court in October 2008 was initiated by a Romanian NGO, Civil Society Commissariat, which sued its mobile operator for keeping the traffic data according to the new law on data retention 298/2008. The lawsuit brought to the Bucharest Tribunal was just a pretext to raise, during the trial, a motion for the law’s unconstitutionality – so that CCR would give its opinion of the data retention law.
CCR has accepted the motion for law’s unconstitutionality through decision 1258/2009, based on the breach of article 28 of the Romanian Constitution, which stipulates the secrecy of correspondence. Other articles invoked were articles 25, 26 and 30 which deal with freedom of movement, privacy and freedom of expression respectively.Bogdan