Friday, 23 March 2012

Data Protection Act "not a barrier" to SCCRC Megrahi disclosure

On 23 February 2012 Christine Grahame MSP, convener of the Scottish Parliament Justice Committee wrote to Kenneth Clarke MP, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice in the UK government, about the data protection concerns that had been raised before her committee (inter alios by the Scottish Government). In a reply dated 20 March 2012 Kenneth Clarke says the following:

“The central issue in your letter is whether a condition exists under Schedule 3 to the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) which could provide for disclosure of sensitive personal data by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) in the case of Abdelbaset al Megrahi. My officials have considered the matter in detail with the SCCRC, the Scottish Government and the Information Commissioner’s Office. Following these discussions, there is a general agreement that disclosure of sensitive personal data by the SCCRC could satisfy the existing Schedule 3 condition that provides for processing where it is necessary for the administration of justice. To that extent, the DPA does not appear to be a barrier to disclosure of this information by the SCCRC.

“However, I would stress that this is a matter for the SCCRC itself to decide, based on the facts of the case and subject to any other legal obligations or restrictions which may apply (for example, its legal vires and the Convention Rights).”

The full text of Christine Grahame’s letter and Ken Clarke’s reply can be read here (last three pages).


  1. Dear Robert Black,

    Im doing a lot of research into the lockerbie trial and the weight of evidence used by prosecution and the defence. Im carrying out a perception study for many different criminal law and evidence academics and I would highly value your opinion. Would you and any others be interested in completing a short survey?

    Thank you and kind regards

    Dan Coggan

  2. In accordance with the data protection act, do you have a right to have infomation removed?

  3. Court can order, rectification, removal etc: