Security and Privacy Course in the Master’s in Law

In the second semester of the academic year 2021-2022, Professor Francisco Pereira Coutinho was the coordinating professor and lecturer of the course “Security and Privacy”, an elective curricular unit in the Master’s in Law and Security at NOVA School of Law. It was also available as an optional curricular unit for students of other Master’s in Law (namely, the Master’s in Business and Technology Law).

This course tackled several subjects. It addressed the ongoing conflict between national/public security and privacy, the harmonization of the collective right to security and the individual rights to privacy and data protection. This was achieved through the study of European judicial decisions that dealt with the international data transfers legal framework and with security-oriented legislation regarding the massive retention of data accessed by intelligence services and law enforcement agencies.

The course had 18 hours of contact, focused on the following topics:

1. The fundamental rights to security, privacy and data protection in the European Convention on HumanRights and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

2. National security and the EUs General Data Protection Regulation.

3. Data transfers legal framework under the General Data Protection Regulation. The «Schrems» cases at the Court of Justice (of the European Union).

4. The data retention saga: from “Digital Rights” (Court of Justice) to “Big Brother Watch and Others vs UK” (European Court of Human Rights).

The course followed a theoritical-pratical teaching model, open to students’ participation, based upon an interactive analysis of doctrinal texts, legislation and caselaw. The final assessment methods were a written exam and/or a casenote of a judicial decision discussed during the course.

The full syllabus is available here.