Success for Louis Browne QC and Mark Ainsworth in Data Protection and Human Rights Act challenge

February 3, 2022

Louis Browne QC from Exchange Chambers, leading Mark Ainsworth, has secured an important court victory in relation to the Data Protection Acts 1998 and 2018, and the Human Rights Act 1998.

In AB v Chief Constable of the British Transport Police, the claimant, who is autistic, complained about records retained by the British Transport Police containing inaccurate allegations which caused the claimant psychiatric harm. The claimant was questioned by police on both occasions but was not charged with any criminal offence.

Louis Browne QC successfully argued the data in the police records was not accurate, proportionate or up to date and that British Transport Police was in breach of the claimant’s rights under the Data Protection Act 1998, the Data Protection Act 2018 and under Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights.   He argued that the records should be deleted and sought damages on behalf of the claimant.

HHJ Sephton QC found in favour of the claimant. He ordered that British Transport Police erase the data and made an award for distress, pecuniary losses and aggravated damages.  Permission to appeal was also refused.

Louis Browne QC and Mark Ainsworth were instructed by Phillip Coburn of MSB Solicitors.