“Justice vis-à-vis personal data protection and access to public documents” workshop organized by EULEX in partnership with the Information and Privacy Agency and the Academy of Justice

30 May

On 30 May 2024, the European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX), in partnership with the Information and Privacy Agency (IPA) and the Academy of Justice, organized the workshop entitled “Justice vis-à-vis personal data protection and access to public documents” for prosecutors, judges, representatives from the Inspectorate of the Kosovo Police and legal professionals.
The workshop centered around the importance of balancing the right to privacy and the right to access to public documents within the justice system.
While marking the workshop open, EULEX Head of Mission, Giovanni Pietro Barbano stated: “protection of personal data and transparency of public institutions are not mutually exclusive but complementary and both contribute to a fair and open society.  As representatives of the justice system in Kosovo, you all have a clear responsibility to guarantee the implementation of data protection legislation and to provide access to public documents.” Barbano further added that “this is how transparency and accountability are ensured, equally upholding everyone’s rights while delivering justice.”
A pioneer in continuously advocating on the importance of data protection and access to public documents, the Commissioner of IPA, Krenare Sogojeva-Dërmaku highlighted that the Agency continues to base its decisions on European standards, respectively standards of the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice. “It is crucial to define the difference between the right to privacy and the right to information. This workshop will help you all to understand the importance of transparency and accountability through proactive publications.”
The support of the Academy of Justice is always important in delivering such events. Its Executive Director, Enver Fejzullahu vowed that EULEX’s support for Kosovo’s justice institutions has been invaluable over the years, adding: “Academy of Justice remains committed to the capacity building of judges, prosecutors, legal professionals in data protection and access to public documents. Interinstitutional cooperation and the help of EULEX in experience and sharing of best practices are highly valued by the Academy.”

Throughout the day, the participants shared different experiences and challenges that they face, especially regarding access of personal data. As an example, prosecutors dealing with cases involving minors requested IPA’s advice and recommendations on how to best address requests of access to personal data when minors’ personal data is at stake.
Other topics that were the focus of the workshop included: constitutional and legal framework for protection of personal data; rights and obligations; legal basis for personal data processing; protection of personal data in the judicial and prosecutorial system; anonymization of personal data; balancing transparency and privacy protection.
This is the third workshop that EULEX has organized together with the Information and Privacy Agency and Academy of Justice to offer a platform of discussion on in-depth implementation of the Law on Access to Public Documents, analyzing the main barriers and challenges faced by rule-of-law institutions, examining and exchanging good practices. The workshop was also part of the EULEX Small Scale Project “Human Rights Capacity Development for Legal Professionals to Improve Implementation of Legal Provisions in the Judicial System in northern Kosovo”.