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Norway enhances legal framework concerning police search and seizure of data protected by legal professional privilege

Strasbourg 18 November 2022
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The Committee of Ministers ended its supervision of the execution of the ECHR  judgment in Saber on 16 November. This case concerned the unlawful interference in the applicant’s right to respect for his correspondence, because his smart phone containing information protected by legal professional privilege (LPP) was searched and seized by the police in 2015 while investigating a case where the applicant was the victim (violation of Article 8).

Following the ECHR judgment, consistent Supreme Court criminal case-law has clearly settled that seized data which might contain correspondence protected as LPP should be carefully sifted through by the police. Furthermore, the Prosecutor General adopted a Directive, in order to establish clear and specific procedural guarantees to prevent LPP from being compromised by the police search of digital data carriers. The Directive created a new technical unit within the police, distinct from the investigating agents, responsible for performing the filtering of digitally stored data. The officers in the unit must follow strict rules on confidentiality, verifiability, and the secure storage of confidential data.

 

 Final Resolution

 Country factsheet – Norway