In a major decision, the Belgian Constitutional Court decided on 20 February 2020 to uphold the recently approved Camera Act. The Act introduced several innovations across multiple existing laws, including the current legislation on police functions, security cameras, national intelligence and private security. While complex in structure and content, the Camera Act in general provided a broader framework for the storage, access and analysis of video imagery for security purposes.
The Act had been challenged by the Human Rights League, which argued principally that the law was insufficiently constrained with respect to privacy and data protection, asking for the law to be annulled on these grounds. Timelex lawyers Hans Graux and Yung Shin Van Der Sype represented the Belgian State, along with our colleagues from Demos Law.
In its decision (available in Dutch and French), the Court rejected these objections, ruling that the decisions made by the legislator were well within its margin of appreciation, and that the safeguards which were built into the law were adequate and in compliance with European data protection principles. The innovations of the Camera Act were thus allowed to stand.