Iain G. Mitchell QC active at CCBE in Vienna

8th March 2019

On Wednesday 27th February, Iain G. Mitchell QC chaired a meeting of the CCBE Surveillance Working Party in Vienna. Matters discussed included challenges to fundamental rights, including legal professional privilege, posed by the US Cloud Act and by current proposals for the direct international recovery of electronic evidence, including the EU Commission proposal for a Regulation for the Preservation and Recovery of Electronic Evidence, bilateral negotiations between the EU Commission and the US Government, and multilateral negotiations concerning a second additional protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime. Papers on those matters were approved for submission to the CCBE Standing Committee. The Working Party also discussed the increasing use of “national security” as an excuse for impingement on fundamental rights.

On Wednesday 27th February, he also attended a meeting of the CCBE IT Committee, representing the UK delegation to the CCBE, the Faculty of Advocates and the IT Panel of the Bar Council of England & Wales. Thereafter he represented the UK delegation at the Committee on the future of the legal profession, where the main matter discussed was the use of Artificial Intelligence by courts.

On Thursday, 28th February, he attended the Standing Committee of the CCBE both in his capacity as Chair of the Surveillance Working Party and standing in for the Head of the UK delegation. Matters discussed included the future of the European Lawyers’ Foundation, the CCBE Lesbos project and the draft proposed Model Code of Conduct for Lawyers. The meeting approved the Surveillance Working party’s Assessment of the US Cloud Act and Recommendations on the Establishment of International Rules for Cross-Border Access to Electronic Evidence.

A press release is available here.

Thereafter, he attended, first, the inaugural meeting of the CCBE working group on Artificial Intelligence and then represented the UK Delegation at a meeting of the CCBE Brexit Task Force.

On Friday, 1st March, representing the Dean of Faculty of Advocates, he attended a bilateral meeting between the heads of the Belgian Bars and the President of the Law Society of Scotland, the Chair of the Bar Council of England & Wales, and representatives of the other UK Bars and Law Societies. The purpose of the meeting was to seek to facilitate, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the maximum degree of reciprocal access for UK lawyers to practice in Belgium, and vice-versa.

Also on Friday 1st March, as Chair of the Surveillance WP, he attended a half-day meeting with the European Fundamental Rights Agency. Matters discussed included the CCBE’s concerns regarding international access to electronic evidence and possible mutual co-operation between the CCBE and the Agency on examining the challenges to Fundamental Rights posed by artificial Intelligence.



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