1. Current situation
In December 2015, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached agreement on the new data protection rules, establishing a modern and harmonised data protection framework across the EU. This framework is composed of two main pieces of legislation: (i) Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation) and (ii) Directive (EU) 2016/680 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, and on the free movement of such data. The Regulation will apply from 25 May 2018 while the Directive has to be transposed by Member States into their national law by 6 May 2018. This means that in less than a year the new data protection rules will apply.
2. Needs that the project aims to address
Since the time when the Regulation and the Directive will be applicable is approaching, it is necessary to have lawyers properly trained on this very important area. Indeed, lawyers are one of the groups that need to be well aware of the new legal framework as both legal instruments (Regulation and Directive) will have a significant impact in their daily work. While the Regulation will have an impact in general terms, the Directive will have a great impact on criminal lawyers since the Directive is about the personal data of people suspected or accused of criminal offences.
3. Major objectives to be attained
The main project objective is to train 630 lawyers from 8 different jurisdictions on the data protection reform. This project will also allow for the promotion of networking between lawyers participating in the national seminars, which is important for facilitating exchange of good practices among the participants. This project will also contribute towards the EU’s proposed objective of enabling half of the legal practitioners in the European Union to participate in European judicial training activities by 2020, and will put into practice the relevant recommendations of the “Study on the state of play of lawyers training in EU Law”.
4. Target group
The project directly targets those lawyers who will participate in the 21 seminars to take place in the course of the project. Further, we will make training material available on the European Lawyers Foundation’s website, so there will also be lawyers who, despite not having participated in the seminars, will be able to benefit from the training material for free. Indirectly, the project will target and benefit citizens and businesses, since the data protection reform will have an impact on their daily lives. Lawyers are usually the first point of contact for people who think that their data protection rights have been violated or by companies that have doubts about how to proceed in respecting the relevant legislation. Therefore, it is essential to have lawyers properly trained in data protection reform.
5. Partner countries