In his recent annual COMBAR lecture, the Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Geoffrey Vos, said
an insight into the law relating to data and data protection should be one of the most important specialisms in the armoury of a modern commercial lawyer
To which I say, “spot on, Sir Geoffrey”. As he goes on to add
Whilst many glaze over at the mention of “data protection”, it will become something that every lawyer at all levels will need to understand and advise upon
Ignore the cruel jibe – he is right, or almost so: in fact lawyers at all levels should already be understanding and advising on data protection.
But it cuts both ways – those who are not qualified lawyers, but who practise in the area of data protection, need to understand its basis in law. Too often one sees non-lawyer practitioners failing to ground their advice in the legal definitions and statutory principles, and being unaware of prior court decisions, or the concept of stare decisis itself, or even how to navigate a statute.
I’m not here to recommend any particular provider, or offering, but I will say that all lawyers could benefit from good training in at least data protection, and all data protection practitioners could benefit from good training in the basics of the law.
The views in this post (and indeed all posts on this blog) are my personal ones, and do not represent the views of any organisation I am involved with.