Iain G Mitchell QC appointed to Leading Role at CCBE

December 8, 2010

Iain G. Mitchell QC has been appointed as the next UK representative on the IT Committee of the Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE). The CCBE is the representative body for the legal profession in the European Union, representing the views of Bars and Law Societies from member States and, through them, about a million lawyers. 

The CCBE has an IT Committee which provides it with advice on the vitally important IT field. The committee is presently heavily involved with work on the European Commission’s e-justice proposals as well as responding to the Commission’s proposals on a new Data Protection directive, and working on the full implementation of the European Find-a -Lawyer portal, which will make it easier to search for lawyers across the EU. 

Iain Mitchell, a member of the Murray Stable in Edinburgh and an Associate Member of Tanfield Chambers in London, said: ‘This is an exciting time to become involved in this area. Increasingly, services are being delivered electronically, and EU citizens are not alone in wanting to see technology being used creatively to improve the ways in which they interact both with each other and with businesses, government and the professions. I aim to work to ensure that those expectations are met, whilst, at the same time, to try to ensure that this is done consistently with the principle of subsidiarity and in keeping with respect for the diverse legal systems and traditions within the European Union.’ 

The UK representative serves for a three-year term and is appointed by a joint decision of the Law Societies of England & Wales, of Scotland and of Northern Ireland; of the Bar Councils of England & Wales and of Northern Ireland; and of the Faculty of Advocates. The present UK Representative is Stephen Mason, Barrister, whose term comes to an end on 31 December 2010.  

Because there is only one representative from the UK, there is also an informal committee of representatives of each of the UK Law Societies and Bars which acts as a focus for discussion of matters with the UK representative. Iain Mitchell has represented the Faculty on that informal committee for a number of years and has now been unanimously appointed by each of the Bars and Law Societies to take up office as the UK representative on 1 January, 2011. 

In addition to his position as Chairman of the Scottish Society for Computers & Law, Iain Mitchell is Co-convenor of the Scottish Lawyers European Group, and a member of the European Legal Network (a network of lawyers involved in Free and Open Source Licensing law).  He also holds an appointment as an honorary lecturer in the Institut für Informations- Telekommunikations- und Medienrecht at the University of Münster, Westphalia. He writes extensively in the field, being the author of the Scottish chapter in Electronic Evidence, Disclosure, Discovery and Admissibility (Butterworths, April 2007 and 2nd Edition, April 2010) and Joint Editor of the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review (see: http://www.ifosslr.org/ifosslr ). 

Mr. Mitchell added: ‘Technology can deliver huge benefits, but there is also a need for a transparent and robust procurement regime which will ensure that the benefits are delivered as economically as possible and by the best and most appropriate technology. My triple background in European, Procurement and IT law will help me to balance all of these imperatives. I look forward to the job.’