• Katja Gram
4. term, Laws, Master (Master Programme)
This thesis is about the police’s observation of a suspect’s activities and the defendant access to these observations.

The thesis takes its starting point in a criminal case from Aalborg City Court in the fall of 2015.
Dispute occurred, regarding if the prosecuting authority should inform about the use of GPS transmitters on the accused’s cars and if the defendant had access to these informations.

Throughout this thesis, different branches of jurisprudence that are related to the case will be used. This includes that the police, as well as the prosecuting authority, must be objectively during an investigation. This involves that the prosecuting authority must document and present all relevant information connected to the trial hearing.

During an investigation of a criminal case, the police are able to make observations – visually as well as through technical aids, which gets regulated by the Danish Administration of Justice Act’s § 791 a, subsection 1-3 if these takes place at a not freely available place. The police can, with a court order, make observations via tracking by making telecommunication observations, the Danish Administration of Justice Act § 791 a, subsection 5.

Besides that, GPS observations can also be used as a tracking possibility. To place the transmitter inside the car the police will need court order cf. the Danish Administration of Justice Act § 791 a, subsection 2, cf. U 2000.2476 H / TfK2000.713/2H. However, if the transmitter has been placed on the outside of the car, it will not be classified as a coercive measure and a capacity in law isn’t needed which means a court order isn’t needed either, cf. U 1996.1496 V.

The defendant has a right to access to material that has been procured by the police in use for the particular case as the charge concerns, cf. the Danish Administration of Justice Act § 729 a, subsection 3, 1. sentence.

According to the Danish Administration of Justice Act’s § 729 c, subsection 1 it is possible, under certain circumstances, to withhold material from the defendant. If the defendant believes that there is evidence, which hasn't been presented, the defendant has the right to request the court to decide for this purpose, cf. the Danish Administration of Justice Act § 745.

Finally, the theoretical sections will be addressed in relation to Aalborg City Court’s decision.
In this section, it will be discussed which consequences the missing GPS-information could possible cause to the defense of the accused. Furthermore, this section will look into why the prosecuting authority could be interested in retaining information about the use of GPS.
Publication date12 May 2016
ID: 234000833