Training of Lawyers on the EU Data Protection Law (TRADATA 2)

Context

The entry into force of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been a milestone in the protection of EU citizens’ rights and the regain of control over their personal data. The GDPR recognises a wide range of rights for data subjects which have become enforceable since 25 May 2018 and it creates a system of financial penalties and personal liabilities for those who violate such rights. However, the various obligations imposed and the rights recognised by the Regulation are not always fully understood by companies and citizens.

Lawyers, as a result of their vital function in providing legal advice and bringing cases to court where necessary, are faced with cases coming from both the business sector (regarding the fulfilment of their obligations under the data protection reform) and from EU citizens themselves (for the protection of their rights as regards their personal data). That is why it is necessary to have lawyers appropriately trained on EU data protection law, both the GDPR  and the Data Protection Law Enforcement Directive.

Based on the previous EU-funded project TRADATA 1, which offered the opportunity to 1085 lawyers from 8 EU jurisdictions to be trained in the EU data protection reform, TRADATA 2 aims to follow the same path, this time through full European cross-border seminars combined with a seminar in an EU overseas territory (Martinique).

Needs Assessment

In their joint statement ahead of the Data Protection Day 2020, EC Vice-President Věra Jourová and Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders indicated that, even if citizens have become more aware of their rights, the priority is to foster a harmonised and consistent implementation of data protection rules throughout the EU. In order to ensure this consistent implementation, it is necessary to offer training on the data protection legal framework to those professionals who are actually working on data protection issues and, more specifically, to those who provide advice to citizens and businesses or represent them on proceedings related to data protection.

Objectives

The overall objective will be achieved through the pursuit of the following specific aims:

  • Training of 408 lawyers from 8 EU Member States on EU Data protection legislation, namely on Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and Directive (EU) 2016/680
  • Production of ready-to-use training material from the seminars
  • Promotion the informal networks of those lawyers participating in the seminars from 8 EU Member States
  • Raising awareness about the project and its activities (training activities and training material)

Activities

  • Organisation of 11 cross-border seminars in 6 different EU Member States (Italy Spain, Romania, Greece, Belgium and France) to train 408 lawyers from 8 EU Member States (lawyers from the Member States where seminars will take place plus the Czech Republic and Poland).
  • Organisation of 1 seminar in the overseas department of Martinique, which targets lawyers from Martinique and from other nearby French overseas departments.
  • Production of ready-to-use training material from the seminars, which will be freely and publicly available on the ELF’s website, which can then be used for self-learning
  • Facilitation of networking opportunities for those lawyers participating in the seminars and to create informal networks of lawyers working on data protection issues
  • To raise awareness about the project and its activities, including the promotion of the training material resulting from the seminars and produced within the framework of the project

Methodology

This project, due to the importance of data protection for lawyers, has attracted interest from various Bars with different training needs. Therefore, this project must have a twofold methodology: (i) a general one with activities to be conducted by all partners regardless of their needs, and (ii) a tailored one with activities targeting partners’ different needs. Whereas the first group focuses on partners holding cross-border seminars in their jurisdictions, the second group focuses on those partners that will only send lawyers to seminars abroad (the Polish Bar of Attorneys-At-Law and the Czech Bar Association) and the seminar in Martinique, which will focus on local lawyers and on lawyers from other nearby French overseas departments.

This project is financed with the support of the Justice Programme of the European Union.