Litigation concerning Standard Contractual Clauses (17.12.18)

On 31 May 2016, the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) commenced proceedings in the Irish High Court. The purpose of these proceedings was to seek a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in relation to the “standard contractual clauses” (SCCs) mechanism under which, at present, personal data can be transferred from the EU to the US. The title of those proceedings is “Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Limited & Maximilian Schrems”. The Court Record (reference) Number is 2016/4809P.

More detailed information, including Explanatory Memoranda, dated September 2016 to December 2018, can be accessed below:


1. Explanatory Memoranda

The explanatory memos explain background to these proceedings, the reasons why these proceedings were taken by the DPC and a summary of developments at each stage of the proceedings from the Irish High to the pending hearing before the CJEU.

2. Judgments

This webpage provides links to the following judgments delivered at various stages in the proceedings:

  • Judgment of the Court of Justice of the EU dated 16 July 2020 in the preliminary reference made by the High Court of Ireland;
  • the substantive High Court judgment delivered in these proceedings (3 October 2017, as subsequently amended on 12 April 2018);
  • the Executive Summary of the substantive High Court judgment (3 October 2017);
  • the High Court Request for a Preliminary Ruling from the CJEU (12 April 2018);
  • the High Court judgment refusing an application by Facebook Ireland Limited (Facebook) for a stay on the making of the reference to the CJEU pending its appeal against the making of the reference (2 May 2018);
  • the Supreme Court judgment granting Facebook leave to bring an appeal (31 July 2018); and
  • the substantive Supreme Court judgment in which the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal by Facebook against the making of the reference (31 May 2019)

3. Expert Evidence

This webpage contains the expert witness evidence provided on behalf of the DPC.

4. Transcripts

This webpage contains the transcripts in respect of each day of the substantive hearing before Ms Justice Costello in the Irish High Court which took place during February - March 2017.

  Note: This webpage is purely for guidance, and does not constitute legal advice or legal analysis.