Outline the UK Governments current proposed response to the decision in S and Marper v UK and evaluate to what extent this proposed response will remedy the problems identified in that case

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Outline the UK Government’s current proposed response to the decision in S and Marper v UK and evaluate to what extent this proposed response will remedy the problems identified in that case.

Since 1995 police in the UK have been allowed to indefinitely store DNA profiles of people who are arrested or charged (regardless of the outcome) due to the creation of the government-launched National DNA Database (NDNAD). In February of 2006 the benefits and issues surrounding the expansion of the NDNAD were summarised by the Parliamentary Office for Science and Technology and made available to the public. This subsequently led to a decision being made by the European Court of Human Rights which concluded that there had been a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Practice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland dictated that since 1995, should any individual be arrested for a recordable offence, he or she should have a DNA sample taken and a digital profile stored in permanence on the NDNAD regardless of whether or not they are charged or later acquitted.Whilst many member states in the Council of Europe permit the retention of DNA profiles the United Kingdom was the singular member state which explicitly condoned the systematic retention of DNA profiles in such a manner.

In the case of S and Marper Vs the UKboth claimants had their DNA profiles taken by South Yorkshire police On the 19th of January, 2001, Mr S. was eleven years old when he was arrested and had his DNA profile recorded (along with his fingerprints). He was charged with attempted robbery but on the 14th of June, 2001, was acquitted. Michael Marper was arrested and charged with harassment (of his partner) on the 13th of March 2001, although due to reconciliation with his partner the charge was not pressed.

The House of Lords, The High Court and the Court of appeal all had their judgements in favour of the UK government overturned by the European Court of Human Rights. After both Mr S. and Michael Marper had requests to the Police Chief Constable for the South Yorkshire police force to destroy their DNA samples, an application for judicial review was refused in 2002by the High Court’s Administrative Division which was subsequently maintained in 2003 by the Court of Appeal, which also made note of the retention of powers held by the Police Chief Constable to (in instances that the individual was free from any suspicion at all) destroy samples taken and stored.

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When an appeal was made to the House of Lords in 2004 an acknowledgement was made by Lord Steyn regarding the significant worth of retained DNA samples, noting that previous the Criminal Justice and Police Act of 2001 had been put in place to supersede previous legislation which made provision for the destruction of DNA profiles after acquittal. This contrasted with an observation made by Baroness Hale which was mentioned within a judgement made later by the European Court of Human Rights which asserted that such procurement of DNA profiles constituted state interference with a person’s right to respect for their ...

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