The Bar Human Rights Committee has always been committed to ensuring the privacy of any private information held by it. We have recently updated our policy, which can be viewed in full here.

What’s changed?

From 25th May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) come into force. This gives you more say over how the Bar Human Rights Committee uses your data.

How does this affect your relationship with the BHRC?

The new privacy policy provides more detail on how the BHRC collects stores and uses information about you.

If you have any queries with regards to the privacy policy, please contact us at [email protected]

Data Protection Policy

Bar Human Rights Committee

Last updated 02 July 2020


BHRC means Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales.
GDPR means the General Data Protection Regulation.
Responsible Person means Josie Fathers, Project Officer.
Register of Systems means a register of all systems or contexts in which personal data is processed by the Charity.


1.       Data protection principles

The BHRC is committed to processing data in accordance with its responsibilities under the GDPR.

Article 5 of the GDPR requires that personal data shall be:

  1. processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to individuals;
  2. collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes;
  3. adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed;
  4. accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay;
  5. kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals; and
  6. processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.”

2.      General provisions

  1. This policy applies to all personal data processed by the BHRC.
  2. The Responsible Person shall take responsibility for the BHRC’s ongoing compliance with this policy.
  3. This policy shall be reviewed at least annually.
  4. The BHRC shall register with the Information Commissioner’s Office as an organisation that processes personal data unless it is exempt from doing so.

3.       Lawful, fair and transparent processing

  1. To ensure its processing of data is lawful, fair and transparent, the BHRC shall maintain a Register of Systems.
  2. The Register of Systems shall be reviewed at least annually.
  3. Individuals have the right to access their personal data and any such requests made to the BHRC shall be dealt with in a timely manner.

4.       Lawful purposes

  1. All data processed by the BHRC must be done on one of the following lawful bases: consent, contract, legal obligation, vital interests, public task or legitimate interests (see ICO guidance for more information).
  2. The BHRC shall note the appropriate lawful basis in the Register of Systems.
  3. Where consent is relied upon as a lawful basis for processing data, evidence of opt-in  consent shall be kept with the personal data.
  4. Where communications are sent to individuals based on their consent, the option for the individual to revoke their consent should be clearly available and systems should be in place to ensure such revocation is reflected accurately in the BHRC’s systems.

5.       Data minimisation

  1. The BHRC shall ensure that personal data are adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.

6.       Accuracy

  1. The BHRC shall take reasonable steps to ensure personal data is accurate.
  2. Where necessary for the lawful basis on which data is processed, steps shall be put in place to ensure that personal data is kept up to date.

7.       Archiving / removal

  1. To ensure that personal data is kept for no longer than necessary, the BHRC shall put in place an archiving policy for each area in which personal data is processed and review this process annually.
  2. The archiving policy shall consider what data should/must be retained, for how long, and why.

8.       Security

  1. The BHRC shall ensure that personal data is stored securely using modern software that is kept-up-to-date.
  2. Access to personal data shall be limited to personnel who need access and appropriate security should be in place to avoid unauthorised sharing of information.
  3. When personal data is deleted this should be done safely such that the data is irrecoverable.
  4. Appropriate back-up and disaster recovery solutions shall be in place.

9.       Breach

In the event of a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data, the BHRC shall promptly assess the risk to people’s rights and freedoms and if appropriate report this breach to the ICO (more information on the ICO website).

10. Responsibilities of Staff


All staff must:

  1. Be mindful of the fact that individuals have the right to see their ‘personal data’ (and this may include for example information received from staff written in connection with a job application to BHRC or any comments written about them in emails). They should not therefore, record or make comments or other data about individuals which they would not be comfortable with the individual seeing, either in emails or elsewhere.
  2. Immediately report the matter to their line manager or BHRC officer (as appropriate) and bring it to the Data Protection Representative’s) attention, if they find any lost or discarded paper or media which they believe contains personal data, (examples, may include a memory stick or discarded printouts).
  3. Immediately report the matter to their line manager or BHRC officer (as appropriate) and bring it to the Data Protection Representative’s attention, if they become aware that personal data has been accidentally lost, stolen or inadvertently disclosed (for example, if their laptop is stolen or their phone is lost and it has personal data stored on it).
  4. Hold the contents of any personal data which comes into their possession securely.
  5. Ensure that any personal data they provide to BHRC (for example, their contact details) is accurate.
  6. Notify BHRC promptly of any changes to their personal data (for example, change of address or emergency contact details).
  7. Only ever obtain or use personal data relating to third parties for approved purposes.

Staff with access to ‘personal data’ must:

  1. Ensure that they only ever process personal data in accordance with requirements of the GDPR and in particular follow the principles it contains (see above). The best way to ensure compliance is through familiarisation with this policy and the guidance provided. Key points in so far as compliance is concerned include:
  • Fair processing – for example, ensure that the individual consents to their data being used and knows what it will be used for, and ensure that it is not subsequently used for something else
  • Data Security – ensure any personal data which is held is always kept and disposed of securely, (taking into account any information security considerations).
  • Non-disclosure – ensure personal data is not disclosed to any unauthorized third party.
  1. Familiarise themselves with the guidance and other information published in the staff handbook and guidance documents in regard to data  protection and information security
  2. If working remotely or using a mobile device to store data (for example, a laptop, tablet or mobile phone), it is vital that you are familiar with our policies and procedures. You should be mindful that these still apply even when working outside of the standard office environment.
  3. Be mindful of the scope of Data Protection regulation. This includes the fact that ‘personal data’ is widely defined, (and so will cover for example comments made about an individual in an email to someone else), and the fact that it covers data held on remote devices (such as tablets and on mobile phones) regardless of who owns the actual device and where the device is stored.
  4. Seek advice from the Responsible Person whenever a new project or service which involves processing personal data is planned, if a new form of processing for existing personal data is contemplated or if any data protection related concerns ever arise.(See ‘New projects and processes DPIA Considerations’ Below)

Data security

Keeping personal data properly secure is key in complying with the Data Protection Act. All staff are therefore responsible for ensuring that if they keep any personal data, it is kept securely and is not disclosed (either orally, in writing or accidentally) to any unauthorised third party.

This includes, as a minimum:

  • Ensuring that any personal data recorded in paper form or hard copy documents are kept in locked filing cabinets or locked drawers or in locked offices.
  • Ensuring that the same measures are taken in regard to any discs or memory sticks or similar devices on which personal data is held, for example, they must also be kept in a secure and locked location and preferably encrypted.
  • Ensure that if any personal data is held on a Mobile Device that it is properly password protected and where appropriate encrypted.
  • Ensuring special care is taken whenever data is transferred from one place to another to ensure security of the data is paramount, (for example, to only use encrypted memory sticks to transfer data or only transfer on a PC which is password protected and encrypted).

New projects and processes – DPIA considerations

Before commencing any project or process which will involve obtaining or using personal data, you must give proper consideration to this policy and discuss this with the Data Protection Representative, how you will comply with this.

In particular, consider the type of personal data which may be collated, how consent is to be recorded, the extent to which such data may legitimately be required to deliver the project objective, how the data will be securely stored, (particularly if the data is what might be considered to be security-sensitive) and the duration for which it will be retained.

In all cases, if any personal data is to be used, then a Data Protection Impact Assessment must be carried out, please seek advice from the data protection representative, on this.


Individuals have the right to complain about or object to the processing of their personal data, should a staff member receive a complaint or objection, they should pass this to the data protection representative.

Implications of breaching this policy 

It is a condition of employment that staff will abide by the policies and rules of BHRC. Any breach of this policy will be considered a disciplinary offence and may lead to disciplinary action. A serious breach of the Data Protection Act or GDPR may also result in BHRC  and/or the individual being held liable in law.


Compliance with the GDPR is the responsibility of all staff members. Any questions about this policy or any queries concerning data protection matters should be raised with the data protection representative.