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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 November 2006

N.A. Moreham
Faculty of Law, University of Victoria, Wellington.
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ONE of the most difficult questions facing English courts as they develop the common law right to privacy recognised by the House of Lords in Campbell v. MGN Ltd. is whether and, if so, when a person might have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a public place. Should an individual have a cause of action if she is photographed as she leaves her mother’s funeral or as he receives medical attention after an accident? Or should there be an absolute rule which says that there is no privacy in a public space? Recent decisions in England and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) suggest that it is no longer an answer (if it ever was) simply to say that the disclosure concerned something which took place in public. A more difficult question therefore remains: if the existence of a privacy interest does not depend on the nature of the space in which claimants find themselves, how do we determine whether a person does have a legitimate privacy interest?

Cambridge Law Journal and Contributors 2006

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