Institutionalising Data Transfers in the UK-EU Relations

The EU has penned few data transfer arrangements with third countries, including recently with the UK with the new framework of law enforcement cooperation post-Brexit. This framework, the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), introduces new oversight mechanisms for data transfers for law enforcement purposes, including the data dubbed as Passenger Name Records (PNR), to be transferred to the UK border agency. This paper explores the governance of the transfer of PNR data under the TCA through the mandate of a host of actors including competent data protection authorities, Passenger Information Units, and Specialised Committee on Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation, which is newly introduced in the TCA. The purpose of this paper is to discuss whether the multitude of authorities involved in supervising PNR data transfer satisfy the system of checks and balances as required under EU law.