Looking Again at Photographs and Privacy: Theoretical Perspectives on Law’s Treatment of Photographs as Invasions of Privacy
University of Sydney - Faculty of Law
February 1, 2011
LAW, CULTURE AND VISUAL STUDIES, A. Wagner, R. Sherwin, eds., Forthcoming
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 11/07
Courts in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are increasingly entertaining claims for invasions of privacy. Many of these cases involve the publication of photographs by a media outlet. In the United Kingdom in particular, the means of protecting personal privacy has been the adaptation of the existing, information-based cause of action for breach of confidence. This has entailed treating photographs as a form of information. This essay analyses the imposition of liability for the publication of intrusive photographs, as it is developing in the United Kingdom, using Campbell v MGN Ltd  2 AC 459 and Douglas v Hello! Ltd  1 AC 1 as case-studies. It applies critical insights from leading theorists on photography, such as Barthes, Berger and Sontag, to suggest that the judicial treatment of photography is underdeveloped.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33
Keywords: Media law, Privacy, Breach of confidence, Photography, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Theory
JEL Classification: K10, K13, K30Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 2, 2011 ; Last revised: February 6, 2011
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