The UK's Data Protection Act (DPA) does not implement European law properly, according to the European Commission which is investigating problems in the UK's implementation of 11 of the Data Protection Directive's articles, almost a third of the entire directive. Using freedom of information legislation, OUT-LAW.COM has learned …
Well that just about sums up what the current Government thinks of Parliament.
Parliament knows there's an issue been raised and, quite reasonably, asks exactly what it is.
The Government promptly goes into arse-covering mode and invents a bullshit excuse to avoid divulging any information to the dangerous democratic types that ranks above "mind-numbingly dull" on the interest scale.
Tranposition is a problem in general
I've seen the same thing again and again, the whole transposition-into-national law is the problem.
EU makes legislation, that's knocked around, amended and eventually a compromise is agreed between the national governments. Then it goes to national bodies to code into national law, anyone that didn't get what they wanted (that's pretty much every government) then plays with the wording to achieve what they lost in the negotiation.
EU citizens then assert their rights as granted to them by EU law.
When they fail to get their rights, they complain to the EU Parliament or Commission, who then discuss with the national government the problems.
Meanwhile the national government will make crimes and non judicial processes around their anomalies. So that EU citizens don't feel so inclined to assert their rights for fear of punishment.
Do you fancy bringing in 500 litres of beer from France? You have the right to, but you'd likely get your car seized in the process. If they had a judicial process around that confiscation, the judge would say, 'hold on, he has the right to bring in 500 litres, even if he's overestimated the amount he can drink, and there's no evidence he'll resell it, so you can't confiscate his car'. So they don't, the power to punish is shifted down to the lowest levels, below the courts and so below the radar of the EU commission. Confiscate first, let them fight for their rights second.
After 2-6 years and perhaps a lawsuit in the European Court of Justice the wording is corrected. Once one decision is rolled out, the nations already have their next trick in place to defeat the legislation and another set of battles begin.
So, we have freedom of movement in Europe. We have freedom of establishment. We have free movement of goods. We have the right of residence. Rights to family life etc., but none of it really work.
Another example, an EU residence permit is equivalent to a visa for the spouse of an EU citizen, and absence of the visa is no reason to block entry. Yet I can't even fly from Paris to Hamburg with my wife, if the flight passes through London! The penalty to the airline for letting you into London without a visa (even EU transit when she has an EU residence permit) is too much for them to risk and permission to enter the UK for transit without a visa in this case is at the discretion of an immigration officer.
It really pisses you off, when you've checked the UK visa website, confirmed you don't need a visa to make that connection, turn up at the airport, and are prevented from boarding the plane. As the checkin desk woman puts it, 1993 Asylum and Immigration Act means they have to get transit visas even if they're optional or the airline can be fined, even for spouses of EU citizens transiting to Europe. A non judicial mechanism used to block your rights under EU law.
The whole transposition of EU directives into national law needs to be taken out of the hands of the governments. Once a compromise is agreed, it should be translated directly and directly applied into national law. IMHO.
It Won't Make Any Difference
Even if we get our arses in gear and implement the directive correctly, nothing will change for the man on the Clapham omnibus whilst the Information Commission remains a spineless waste of taxpayers' money.
Perhaps it is time we knew our rights and started fighting for them. It is perhaps time, that EU laws, do not need to be passed into country law, we (ie all counrties of the EU not just the UK) are either apart of the EU or not, eventally we (and ALL the others) will not be allowed to both have the cake and eat it.
Stroll on lad.
A lot of the comments assume we want to be part of the EU. They also assume that being part of a community or union means we also have to surrender our sovereignty to another parliament. It's bad enough that we have scottish members voting on laws which only apply in England while English MPs do not vote on exclusively scottish issues but having the other european nations making our laws with no room for localised adaptation is preposterous.
It's about time we opened a pint of whoopass on these silly european laws and got our own house in order.
Now lets see some proper protection for our personal data
I have always thought the Information Commissioner was a waste of space and this proves why ,as most of the directive has been watered down by this UK Government in the interests of the Government not us.
What the hell is the point of having a Data Protection Act when it does not protect us. Shame ,yet again, on this Government.
Don't I remember something about the MacWhirter brothers 'anti-subversive' Freedom Foundation (or some such nonsense) getting around the DPA because they had a card-index of subversives? Perhaps someone out there could refresh my memory...
Bah! You haven't seen the Scottish Parliament.
It's an overly expensive and an eye sore of the sort that only trumped up, self important ministers could ask for. (I ask you. They "borrow" the Church of Scotland for their assembly and then decide to "allow" them to use their own building for a special occasion??!?)
Especially when the Royal High school was a better option. (More central, currently contains civil servants, near plenty of empty buildings, one of which backs onto Waverley railway Station (It used to be a post office/sorting office))
What power do they have? They don't even have the power to lower taxes. They can raise them if they want. Besides this, I've heard (Although not had confirmed) that they're basically "yes" men...
Who ordered such a fancy building? Nobody in Scotland. It was just something to appease the natives, as it were. (Speaking as somebody who is nominally a native)
(The fact I'm currently living in Yorkshire is irrelevant)
re: @Simon Painter
Scotsman in Yorkshire, you miss the point that Simon was trying to make. In Westminster, the ruling Scottish Mafia make laws for the English when the very same matters are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and therefore MPs representing English seats can have no say. Without the Scottish Mafia in the UK Parliament at Westminster, Labour would not have the majority necessary to push through their current legislative program to break up the UK.
The ICO has lost the plot
It doesn't surprise me that the ICO's idea of "personal data" should raise eyebrows at the EU. The ICO is paying scholastic games with the definition of personal data - so much so that their concept is now quite counter-intuitive. For example I bet most folks would be surprised to learn that their email address is almost certainly NOT "personal data" by the ICO's lights.
re: re: @Simon Painter
Jeff, you also miss the point I was trying to make. You seem to assume that the Scottish MPs in the Scottish parliament have more power than the English ones that aren't there. As mentioned, they can raise taxes, not lower them. What does that tell you about the rest of their powers?
As for breaking up the UK, they don't want that. Really. Why would they? In power and planning to take second fiddle to Westminster at some point in the future? (Even as a fallback, it's pretty low)
I'm not exactly a great fan of the situation, (It should be all or nothing, in my opinion, with a slight leaning on the nothing. This appears to fit in with your opinions) but a lot of people seem to get wound up over something something that doesn't appear to do anything that wouldn't have happened if the parliament hadn't been built in the first place. (Bar costing money and getting rid of all the talk of devolution)
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