The Data Protection and Medical Research in Europe: PRIVIREAL series represents the results of this EC-funded project examining the implementation of Directive 95/46/EC on data protection in relation to medical research and the role of ethics committees in European countries. The series consists of five separate volumes following the complete development of the PRIVIREAL project. This volume relates to the second stage of this project and is concerned with the setting up and role of research ethics committees. It assesses their legal responsibilities, especially with regard to data protection matters and contains reports from more than 20 European countries on these issues. Focusing on the theoretical role and practical operation of research ethics committees and the impact of relevant international and national instruments, this volume will be an essential resource for all those concerned with data protection issues in medical research.