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What Prior Judicial Scrutiny of Secret Surveillance Stands For

Gloria González Fuster


Case of Dragojević v Croatia, App no 68955/11, ECtHR, 15 January 2015
Prior judicial scrutiny of secret surveillance measures cannot be circumvented by allowing courts to justify measures retrospectively. In a case about the tapping of telephone conversations of a drug-trafficking suspect, the European Court of Human Rights found that the Croatian law requiring reasoned prior judicial authorisation of secret surveillance measures could not be interpreted as allowing a court of first instance to merely justify the authorised measures a posteriori, in the context of a dispute around the admissibility of the evidence, when the authorising judge had failed to provide any compelling grounds for authorisation in due time and as required by domestic law.
Article 180 § 1(1) of the Croatian Code of Criminal Procedure Article 6 of the ECHR (right to a fair trial) Article 8 of the ECHR (right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence)


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