18 January 2023

Third Party Appeals against Data Protection Authority decisions made possible

DPA’s decisions will often have legal effects on persons not involved in the proceedings before the DPA (“affected third parties”).

Up till now the Brussels Court of Appeal – designated as appellate body for decisions of the DPA – had refused to hear appeals filed by persons who were not party to the proceedings before the DPA.  The GDPR, however, foresees that such parties must have the possibility to oppose such decisions (art. 78). This left affected third parties with no possibility to oppose a DPA’s decision.

This is not the case anymore: last Thursday (January 12, 2023) the Belgian Constitutional Court did rule that the Brussels Court of Appeal must hear appeals filed by third parties affected by decisions of the DPA.

In absence of explicit legal text organizing such appeal (reason why the Brussels Court of Appeal did reject appeals filed by affected third parties), the Constitutional Court decides that interested third parties are granted a period of time of 30 days to file such appeal, starting on the day on which they may be deemed to have known the decision of the DPA, and at the earliest on the day of publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court in the Belgian official Gazette.

MVVP acted in this matter.

For more information, contact olivier.sasserath@mvvp.be.

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