The Effective Supervision of Law Enforcement Authorities: A Reality or A Myth?


  • Juraj Sajfert


  • Frank Schuermans
  • Fanny Coudert
  • Anna Moscibroda
  • Eleftherios Chelioudakis

Organisation: MATIS Project

Room: Online 3

Timing: 11:45 - 13:00 on 29 January 2021

It has been two and a half years since the Member States of the European Union had to transpose the new rules on data protection for the law enforcement sector into their national laws. This includes the extensive provisions on the independent supervisory authorities in Chapter VI of the Directive (EU) 2016/680. However, its Article 47 on the powers of supervisory authorities is weak and vague. This panel will therefore analyse the practice of supervision of the law enforcement sector in the Digital Age.

• What do supervisory authorities need in order to have effective powers against law enforcement sector?
• Do national laws endow supervisory authorities with effective powers? How are such powers being used in everyday practice?
• Can digital investigatory measures be reconciled with the fundamental rights of privacy and data protection? What is the role of supervisory authorities in that process?
• What can we learn from statistics of inspections and corrective measures under the Directive (EU) 2016/680?


Juraj Sajfert

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (BE)

Juraj Sajfert joined the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in October 2019 and is in charge of a research project 'Making transparent invisible surveillance: Digital investigatory measures in the European Union and their compatibility with EU data protection law'. Previosuly, he spent more than five years working for the Data Protection Unit of DG Justice and Consumers at the European Commission, moving from the position of a case-processing lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights. Since 2014, Juraj worked on the development and application of EU data protection law. Juraj has been closely involved in the process of drafting and negotiating the new EU data protection legislation, particularly focusing on the Data Protection Directive for police and criminal justice authorities, the Data Protection Regulation for Union institutions and bodies and data protection rules for the European Public Prosecutors’ Office and Eurojust. He publishes regularly on topical issues for data protection in the area of law enforcement.


Frank Schuermans

Supervisory Body for Police Information (BE)

Frank Schuermans (°23.01.1964) has a Master of in Law from the University of Ghent in Belgium (1991).
He is currently a full time member/director of the Belgian Supervisory Body for Police Information (Data Protection Authority for police and certain law enforcement matters). He was also a member of the Belgian Data Protection Authority between 2004 and 2019 and is an attorney-general (senior deputy prosecutor-general) at the Ghent (Belgium) Court of Appeal.
He is also a teaching assistant and researcher at the Law Faculty, ‘Institute for International Research on Criminal Policy’ (IRCP) and the Interdisciplinary Knowledge and Research Platform on ‘Privacy, Information Exchange, Law Enforcement & Surveillance’ (PIXLES) of the Ghent University. He published over more than 200 articles and a few books on police matters, data protection law and criminal (procedure) and police law.

Fanny Coudert


Fanny is Head of Sector - Supervision of the AFSJ at the EDPS. She is part of the EDPS Supervision & Enforcement Unit since October 2017. Previously she worked as researcher specialised in privacy and surveillance at the Centre for IT&IP Law (CITIP) of KU Leuven (Belgium).

Anna Moscibroda

DG Just (EU)

Anna Moscibroda currently works in a field of personal data protection for European Commission, Directorate General for Justice and Consumers. Upon taking her current duties in 2014, she focused mostly on the data protection aspects of migration policies (including asylum, Schengen acquis, large scale IT systems). She participated in several Schengen evaluations of the Member States. Now, she leds the team dealing with on data protection in law enforcement. Lawyer by education, Anna was previously a case handler in DG Competition and a researcher at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Centre for Law, Science, Technology & Society (LSTS) dealing with competition and intellectual property laws and on data protection.

Eleftherios Chelioudakis

Homo Digitalis (GR)

Eleftherios is a lawyer admitted to practice in Greece, and co-founder of the Greek civil society organisation "Homo Digitalis", which is an observer member at the European Digital Rights (EDRi) network. Moreover, he works as a research associate at the Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP) of KU Leuven. Eleftherios holds a LLB from National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, a LLM on Law and Technology from Tilburg University Law School and a MSc in Digital Humanities from the Computer Science School of KU Leuven with courses on Programming Languages, Web Information Systems, Human-Computer Interaction, and Linked Open Data, amongst others.