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Historically the law of tort has offered limited protection for personal privacy using a patchwork of established torts such as private nuisance and battery. Until recently no tort was recognised in English law which was exclusively concerned with protecting what could properly be described as a ‘privacy interest.’ However, since the enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998 which brought about the incorporation into domestic law of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) this is a branch of the law of tort which has seen rapid development, with the judiciary developing a tort of ‘misuse of private information’ which is now capable of preventing and remedying violations of the ‘informational’ aspects of personal privacy. The possibility of introducing a statutory tort of privacy has been considered by a number of review bodies but so far no progress has been made in this area.
This book analyses the extent to which the law of tort currently affords protection against invasions of personal privacy and the remedies that are available. The book considers tort law and privacy in other common law jurisdictions including the US, Australia and New Zealand where debates concerning the legal protection of personal privacy are also taking place. It then goes on to explore the potential for a common law tort to be developed which would be capable of offering broader protection for personal privacy and its prospects for statutory codification.