Lord Justice Sedley said that DNA samples from all UK residents and visitors should be added to the national database.
Over the last five years the UK's DNA database has expanded significantly. It now contains around 4m samples, making it the largest system in the world, but also has in excess of 500,000 mismatches.
Richard Thomas, the information commissioner, warned that there are significant risks associated with creating a universal database. It would be highly intrusive, and the more information collected, the greater the risk of false matches and other mistakes, he said.
“The potential for technical and human error leading to serious consequences cannot be under estimated. There are also significant practicalities to address, such as keeping track of people, and keeping the records up to date and accurate.”
See the views of the Libertarian Alliance.
It is interesting to note that Lord Justice Sedley also made the same call in 2004, as reported by the BBC at the time, yet in 2000 sitting as an appeal judge in the case of Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas vs Hello! , LJ Sedley said:
The courts had reached a point “which it can be said with confidence that the law recognises and will appropriately protect a right of personal privacy”.
He added: “What a concept of privacy does, however, is accord recognition to the fact that the law has to protect not only those people whose trust has been abused, but those who simply find themselves subjected to an unwanted intrusion into their personal lives.”
The same legal brain can however accept that the state may invade our privacy – and even that of our visiting uncles, aunts in such a gross way.
Does the good Judge now believe that the forced inclusion of everybody into a DNA database would not be an abuse of trust, and an unwanted intrusion into our personal lives.
One wonders what has happened to his sense of justice between 2000 and now. It certainly brings into question his ability to sit as an ad hoc judge of the European Court of Human Rights.
The Home Office said it welcomed the judge's contribution to the debate on DNA profiling, but had no plans to introduce a universal compulsory, or voluntary, national DNA database.
We all know that this is a smoke and mirrors job by the Home Office. As the Liberal Democrat shadow home secretary Nick Clegg has told us, the government are secretly creating a universal database without the knowledge of the public. (see 2010)
Perhaps the learned Judge would be prepared to give the lead here, and submit himself to a DNA test, perhaps along with the rest of the members of the Bar, and our politicians. But why stop there, why not have everyone on the Sex offenders database as well until we can all prove that we should not be on it.
It may go some way to providing public confidence that these people are not trying to criminalise everyone and assume guilt until innocence has been proven, whilst putting themselves and the elite outside of the system. Perhaps our learned friend would then like to take on some cases such as this one.