FC: Spain's top court says cops need search warrant for hotel rooms

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Fri Jan 25 2002 - 13:57:36 PST

  • Next message: Declan McCullagh: "FC: PFF's Randy May on regulation aficionados, Congress, and FTC"

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 12:39:51 +0100
    From: Jose M Guardia <josegat_private>
    To: "declanat_private" <declanat_private>
    Don't know how's the legislation about this in the US, but as for Spain, 
    there's some good news for privacy:
    Spain's Constitutional Court (the highest jurisdictional organ in the 
    country) has ruled that hotel rooms have the same privacy protection than 
    private residences and, therefore, a court order is needed for a search 
    (absent permission from the user, obviously). With the ruling, the court 
    deems as unconstitutional, and therefore overthrows, previous legislation 
    stating that rooms in hotels and similar premises were exempt from the 
    inviolability protection of private homes.
    In the court's opinion, if private homes are premises where a person "lives 
    without being necessarily subject to social conventions, and has the most 
    intimate liberty" (no, not necessarily because they had seen where I live), 
    it should also be true of hotel rooms, and therefore they should have 
    identical protection against illegal searches.
    In the 1994 case involved, four police officers searched two rooms rented 
    by two journalists in a Seville hotel without a court order, and the 
    journalists sued for illegal search. The question now is whether the 4 
    policemen will be punished for an illegal search done in a moment when the 
    legislation making hotel rooms an exception of the inviolability principle 
    was still valid.
    More coverage (in Spanish):
    El Constitucional prohÝbe los registros en hoteles sin orden judicial
    Jose M Guardia
    Internet, Media & Technology Analyst
    Barcelona, Spain
    Ph. (++34) 629-74-26-24
    E-mail: josegat_private
    POLITECH -- Declan McCullagh's politics and technology mailing list
    You may redistribute this message freely if you include this notice.
    Declan McCullagh's photographs are at http://www.mccullagh.org/
    To subscribe to Politech: http://www.politechbot.com/info/subscribe.html
    This message is archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
    Events: Congreso Nacional de Periodismo Digital in Huesca, Spain from
    Jan. 17-18 (http://www.congresoperiodismo.com) and the Second
    International Conference on Web-Management in Diplomacy in Malta from
    Feb. 1-3. (http://www.diplomacy.edu/Web/conference2/)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Jan 25 2002 - 14:42:33 PST