Over 50 participants comprised of judges, prosecutors, Supreme Court legal officers and lawyers from Cyprus met in Nicosia on 21 October 2019 for a seminar on data protection and the launch of the HELP course.
Alongside current challenges in the field of data protection, the programme included sessions on European case law from the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union and the relevant European framework. The participants got familiarised with the Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Programme of the Council of Europe and its e-learning platform containing 35 online courses.
The Seminar started with opening speeches from former Supreme Court Judge Mr George Erotocritou currently the Director of Reform and Training, Ms Elena Zachariadou, Attorney of the Republic representing the Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus and Ms Irene Loizidou Nikolaidou, Commissioner for Personal Data Protection Cyprus.
Mr Elias Georgiou, Senior District Court Judge and the HELP tutor for this course for the group of judges, prosecutors and Supreme Court legal officers gave a presentation on the topic of data protection and privacy rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Ms Tatiana Eleni Synodinou, Associate Professor at the Law Department of the University of Cyprus spoke about the world of personal data: the emergence of personal data protection as a key factor in the application of law.
Ms Ana-Maria Telbis, coordinator of the EU-CoE project “HELP in the EU” presented the HELP Programme, the European Union-Council of Europe “HELP in the EU” project and the HELP online course on Data Protection and Privacy Rights, which has been recently updated to incorporate the developments at both Council of Europe and European Union level, with the modernisation of the Convention 108 and the application of the GDPR, and the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union.
The participants were introduced to the HELP national tutors who will accompany the two groups in the implementation of the course for the following months, namely Mr Elias Georgiou and Mr Nicolas Tsardellis. The participants also had the possibility to share their expectations from the course and showed high motivation to contribute to the exchange of ideas and opinions on the online course pages opened for them. The participants who successfully complete the course will receive HELP certificates issued by the Council of Europe.
The HELP launch event was organised at the initiative of the HELP Focal Point for Cyprus, Mr Elias Georgiou, with the backing of the Supreme Court and especially of Mr George Erotocritou, Director for Reform and Training at the Supreme Court of Cyprus, where the seminar was hosted. They were joined by the Cyprus Bar Association through the good offices of the HELP Info Point, Mr Nicolas Tsardellis. With the participation of representatives from the Law Office, the event’s cross professional perspective was enriched and allowed for fruitful exchange between the different professional categories involved.
The first launch of a HELP course in Cyprus was made possible due to the interest of the national partners, namely the Supreme Court of Cyprus and the Cyprus Bar Association, in integrating courses developed by the Council of Europe HELP Programme and also the active involvement of their representatives within the HELP Network, the HELP Focal and Info Points, who held several presentations of the HELP Programme and the courses available in previous training events organised in Cyprus.
The updated version of the HELP course on Data Protection and Privacy Rights is available, in English, to any legal professional interested in the topic, in the self-learning part of the HELP e-learning platform, and will soon be made available in other languages.