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A Landmark Decision Has Been Passed Where Religious Grounds Were Accepted As A Reasonable Excuse To Deny Police Access To Mobile Phone Device Even Where Police Warrant

A landmark decision was made on 17 March 2023 where police had obtained a warrant for the provision of access information (PIN code) to any digital device located in the defendant’s possession. The police asked the defendant if he had a reasonable excuse to deny them access to the phone when he refused to provide his PIN code. He relied upon religious freedom as the basis of his reasonable excuse., an application of the Human Rights Act. He refused to provide the PIN and was charged with the offence of contravening an Order about device information from a digital device. The Islamic defendant argued it would offend his faith if his wife were to appear in person or by photographs on the device “uncovered” i.e. without wearing a hijab to men who were not related to her (the police). The defendant was found not guilty on 17 March 2023. The charge was dismissed and the defendant was discharged.

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