‘Criminal Justice Chain’ application: New bill regulates personal data processing

The Chamber of Deputies has passed a bill aimed at regulating the processing of personal data in the JU-CHA (Justice Chaîne Pénale – Criminal Justice Chain) application.

Out of the 60 MPs, 54 voted in favour, while six abstained, including members from the Alternative Democratic Reform Party (adr), the Left Party (déi Lénk), and independent MP Roy Reding.

The bill’s origin lies in the case of a man who, during a preliminary interview with the justice administration in 2018, was confronted with a speeding offence committed by him years earlier in Strasbourg.

This incident prompted public debate, particularly led by MPs Gilles Roth and Laurent Mosar from the Christian Social People’s Party (CSV), questioning the existence of a potential “secondary record” in the justice system containing information on minor offences.

Their efforts, alongside those of other MPs, contributed to aligning the Criminal Justice Chain app with the Data Protection Bill.

The newly passed law stresses the necessity of safeguarding personal data in accordance with international standards while ensuring the efficiency of the judicial system. The bill’s rapporteur in the Chamber of Deputies described it as “a compromise.”

Key provisions of the law specify the purposes for which the judiciary may collect data and the prescribed duration for retaining such data, with two years for minor offences, five years for délits*, and ten years for crimes*. In cases of acquittal, file access remains available for up to six months after the judgment.

The bill also outlines the individuals who have access to the file, subject to the authorisation of the public prosecutor, with detailed reasons required for any request. A log of those who accessed the file can be traced back for five years.

While the CSV would have liked more specific details regarding the data encompassed in the Criminal Justice Chain, the opposition party ultimately supported the law. The Pirate Party also voted in favour but expressed concerns about the involvement of an external IT company in the application’s installation and maintenance.

*Editor’s note: The terms ‘délits’ and ‘crimes’ have no direct equivalents in English due to differences in classifying criminal offences in common law. In Belgium, France, and Luxembourg a ‘délit’ is considered an intermediate offence, less serious than a ‘crime.’


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