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Data Protection and Access to Information in Wartime Conditions

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The Council of Europe project “Support to judicial institutions and processes to strengthen access to justice in Ukraine”, together with the National School of Judges of Ukraine, organized a webinar “Protection of personal data and access to Public Information in Conditions of War” for local and appellate court judges and staff.

The project involved the Council of Europe’s leading international experts on this subject to participate in the webinar, in particular, Mrs. Natasa Pirch Musar, Member of the Board of the Slovenian Bar Association, Commissioner of the Republic of Slovenia for Access to Public Information (2005-2014), Chairman of the Europol Joint Control Office (2013). She spoke to webinar participants about European standards and ECHR practice on data protection and focused on privacy and restrictions during armed conflict.

Mr. Toby Mendel, the Executive Director of the Center for Law and Democracy (Canada), introduced webinar participants to basic standards for access to public information, as well as national security standards. He drew their attention to the right of States to derogate from obligations in emergency situations and to exceptions to access to public information.

Mr Markiyan Bemnational expert of the Council of Europe, senior lawyer at the law firm Vasyl Kysil and Partners, lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights (2015-2019), briefed on the challenges of data protection in times of war . Mr. Ihor Rozkladainational expert of the Council of Europe, deputy director of the Center for Democracy and the Rule of Law – on the characteristics of access to public information in Ukraine during the armed conflict.

A moderated discussion involving national and international experts on finding a balance between access to public information and the protection of personal data took place at the end of the event.