DNA Test Cases in ECHR

Two cases relating to DNA samples being retained are currently at the Europan Court of Human Rights:

1. S & Marper v United Kingdom, to be heard in the European Court of Human Rights on 27 February 2008, will establish if the automatic retention of DNA samples, profiles and fingerprints from those who are not convicted of any offence is a breach of the right to a private life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

2. S & Marper concerns the legality of amendments to s64 Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 which enable the police to retain bodily samples, DNA profiles and fingerprints from anyone arrested for a recordable offence, whether or not they are charged, prosecuted or convicted. Virtually all offences (except the most trivial) are recordable. Current Government policy is to retain this information, including DNA on the National DNA Database (NDNAD), until the individual dies or reaches 100 years old. Samples, profiles and fingerprints can be destroyed on request in exceptional circumstances.

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