Private information and media freedom

Fenwick Helen, Daniel Fenwick

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The creation of a tort of invasion of privacy aimed at the protection of personal information against media intrusion filled one of the most serious lacunae in English law. Described by the Law Commission as ‘a glaring inadequacy’,2 and condemned by the Court of Appeal,3 dicta in a pre-Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) decision of the House of Lords4 remarked upon ‘the continuing, widespread concern at the apparent failure of the law’ in this area.5 That failure was remedied under this largely HRAdriven legal development although, as this chapter will argue, recent developments in 2012-15 have undermined the efficacy of the tort in practice to an extent. It must also be borne in mind that, as the House of Lords stated in Wainwright v Home Office,6 there is no general, comprehensive tort of invasion of privacy, reaching far beyond protection for private information.7
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFenwick on Civil Liberties & Human Rights
EditorsHelen Fenwick
Place of PublicationAbingdon, UK
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISBN (Electronic)9781315734767
ISBN (Print)9781138837942, 9781138837935
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2016


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