Attorney General Merrick B. Garland held a formal investiture ceremony on Nov. 14, 2023, for the Data Protection Review Court (DPRC) at the U.S. Department of Justice, formally swearing in six judges, including David F. Levi, the Bolch Judicial Institute’s director emeritus, to the eight-member, fully independent court.
“In October 2022, I issued new regulations establishing the Data Protection Review Court to serve as the second level of a new redress process established by the President’s Executive Order on Enhancing Safeguards for United States Signals Intelligence Activities,” said Attorney General Garland. “Although this court has been established at the Department of Justice, its judges will independently decide what remedies, if any, are appropriate for the cases in front of them, and the intelligence agencies will be expected to abide by their decisions.”
The DPRC is part of a new two-level process that will provide independent and impartial review of certain complaints submitted by individuals in, for example, European Union countries who claim their personal information was the subject of U.S. signals intelligence collection and/or review in violation of applicable U.S. law. The court was established by regulations issued by the Attorney General, pursuant to Executive Order 14086, “Enhancing Safeguards in United States Signals Intelligence Activities” (Oct. 7, 2022).
DPRC judges are appointed by the Attorney General for four-year renewable terms to independently and impartially adjudicate applications for review of qualifying complaints. Consistent with the requirements of Executive Order 14086, many have prior judicial experience. As a group, their backgrounds are broad and diverse, with experience also in the executive and legislative branches at the federal level, in the private practice of law, in academia, and in the non-profit sector. They are not subject to the supervision of the Attorney General and cannot be removed from the DPRC or subject to any other adverse action arising from their service on the DPRC, except for instances of misconduct, malfeasance, breach of security, neglect of duty, or incapacity.
Prior to serving as the Bolch Judicial Institute’s founding director, David F. Levi served as the 14th dean of Duke Law School, from 2007 to 2018, and as the Chief United States District Judge for the Eastern District of California, with chambers in Sacramento. He currently serves as president of the American Law Institute.
Click here to read the full press release and view photos of the event from the U.S. Department of Justice.