Privacy and Media Freedom

Privacy and Media Freedom

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By (author) Raymond Wacks

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 312 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 232mm x 20mm | 480g
  • Publication date: 24 July 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199668663
  • ISBN 13: 9780199668663
  • Sales rank: 451,577

Product description

Freedom of expression is a fundamental right at the heart of any democratic society. It is, however, inevitably restricted by other important values, including the right to privacy: the control individuals exercise over their sensitive personal information. The English law, since the enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998, has undergone a tectonic shift in its recognition of this right protected by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which the Act assimilated into domestic law. The new civil wrong, 'misuse of private information,' now affords greater protection to an individual's 'private and family life, home and correspondence.' The press is, of course, no longer the principal purveyor of news and information. The Internet offers abundant opportunities for the dissemination of news and opinions, including the publication of intimate, private facts. Social media, blogs, and other online sites are accessible to all. Indeed, the fragility of privacy online has led some to conclude that it is no longer capable of legal protection. This book examines the right of privacy from a legal, philosophical, and social perspective, tracing its genesis in the United States, through the development of the law of confidence, and its recent recognition by the Human Rights Act. The English courts have boldly sought to offer refuge from an increasingly intrusive media. Recent years have witnessed a deluge of civil suits by celebrities seeking to salvage what remains of their privacy. An extensive body of case law has appeared in many common law jurisdictions over the last decade, which shows no sign of abating. The Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices, and ethics of the press, sparked by the hacking of telephones by newspapers, revealed a greater degree of media intrusion than was previously evident. Its conclusions and recommendations, particularly regarding the regulation of the media, are examined, as well as the various remedies available to victims of intrusion and unsolicited publicity. The law is locked in a struggle to reconcile privacy and free speech, in the face of relentless advances in technology. The manner in which courts in various jurisdictions have attempted to resolve this conflict is critically investigated, and the prospects for the protection of privacy are considered.

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Author information

Raymond Wacks is Emeritus Professor of Law and Legal Theory. He has published numerous articles on various aspects of law and jurisprudence in leading scholarly journals and his books include Understanding Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Legal Theory (3rd ed, 2012), Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction (2006), and Law: A Very Short Introduction (2008). Professor Wacks has been a leading authority on the legal protection of privacy for almost four decades. His major works in this field are The Protection of Privacy, the first book on the subject in England (1980); Personal Information: Privacy and the Law (1989); Privacy, a two-volume collection of essays (1993); Privacy and Press Freedom (1995) and Privacy: A Very Short Introduction (2010). Professor Wacks is a former chairman of the privacy committee of the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong, and was a member of the statutory Personal Data (Privacy) Advisory Committee.

Review quote

Raymond Wacks' new book on Privacy and Media Freedom ... is not only genuinely comparative in its survey of the legal protection currently afforded privacy in a range of jurisdictions but also includes a useful discussion of the value of privacy... It offers a refreshing mixture of clear, precise analysis and vigorously argued, sometimes contentious, opinion. Megan Richardson, JML This is a lovely book. It is both eminently readable but also extremely detailed in its legal and philosophical discourse on privacy and defamation. Ursula Smartt, Entertainment Law Review [T]his book provides an interesting insight into the right of privacy in the media. Laura Linkomies, Privacy Law and Business [R]enowned law scholar and privacy expert Raymond Wacks shines light on the complex conflict between privacy and freedom of expression. Taking the phone-hacking scandal as a starting point, he offers a comprehensive legal perspective and helps us navigate through the various traditions, interpretations and practices of privacy law. He traces the historic emergence of privacy norms, discusses recent changes in privacy protection in the English law, addresses different levels of jurisdiction (the national as well as the European Union level), and considers trends including the unprecedented collection and storage of data in digital environments Privacy and Media Freedom manages what few academic books accomplish: it intervenes in a current political and social debate [T]his book is a valuable and timely contribution to the post-Leveson debate. Arne Hintz, Times Higher Education Supplement What is privacy? [This] question is infused with a much-needed dosage of urgency in Privacy and Media Freedom. In it, author Raymond Wacks, Emeritus Professor of Law and Legal Theory at the University of Hong Kong, tackles the feverishly au-courant subject of privacy. He approaches the topic from a legal, sociological and historical perspective, focusing on the laws in Britain, with some discussion of US privacy law as well ... The book comfortably pivots between academic legalese, replete with contrasted court cases and judicial and obiter dicta - to the sort of thoughtful, elegant prose and socially contextual writing one might find in the New Yorker ... with engaging observations, and legal ammunition, it's well worth the wade in. One needn't be involved in legal work or study to benefit from the read. Shana Ting Lipton, The Huffington Post Blog The book builds on Wack's impressive body of earlier works, including The Protection of Privacy , Personal Information: Privacy and Law and Press Freedom. And as with earlier texts, it offers a refreshing mixture of clear, precise analysis and vigorously argued, sometimes contentious, opinion. Megan Richardson, Journal of Media Law Wacks' book makes a timely and important contribution to the muddy and contentious area of privacy law. Dr Melissa de Zwart, Media and Arts Law Review

Table of contents

1. The Pursuit of Privacy ; 2. Freedom to Express What? ; 3. The Genesis ; 4. The New Order ; 5. Striking a Balance ; 6. Media Misconduct ; 7. Remedies ; 8. Problems and Prospects