Two men accused of murdering two British tourists in Thailand last year have had their application for disclosure of a Metropolitan Police report refused by the High Court. The application for disclosure was brought under s7(9) the Data Protection Act 1998 which requires the court to exercise an independent judgment in relation to whether a data subject access request should be complied with.
The police argued that it was entitled to refuse access to the report as confidentiality had been a precondition set by the Thai police. It was argued that if the High Court was to order the disclosure the ability of the police to enter into future international cooperative relationships may be jeopardised.
Mr Justice Green held that he had to “balance the interests of the police against those of the accused” and that “on the facts of the case and applying an intense proportionality test, the arguments and interests of the police outweigh those of the claimants.” The judge also concluded that the report would have not have been of material assistance to the claimants in the operation of their defence and that there was nothing in the personal data which would be of any “real value” to the claimants.