Why Is Privacy Important? Privacy, Dignity and Development of the New Zealand Breach of Privacy Tort

Law Liberty, Legislation: Essays in Honour of Joh Burrows QC, J. Finn and S. Todd (eds) (LexisNexis, Wellington, 2008) pp. 231-247

Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 113/2015

19 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2014 Last revised: 30 Sep 2015

See all articles by N. A. Moreham

N. A. Moreham

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 1, 2008

Abstract

This chapter explains why privacy is important and how the answer to that question should inform the development of the New Zealand law of privacy. The chapter challenges the oft-held view that in order to establish a breach of privacy, a plaintiff must show that the publicity given to the information would be highly offensive to a reasonable person. It begins by examining why privacy is important on a theoretical level, showing that privacy is an integral aspect of human dignity. It then demonstrates how this conclusion should inform legal doctrine, arguing that actions protecting dignitary interests should be actionable per se and that it is inappropriate to require proof of 'offence' or of tangible harm.

Keywords: Privacy, Hosking v Runting, private information, highly offensive, dignity, tort

JEL Classification: K10, K13

Suggested Citation

Moreham, Nicole A., Why Is Privacy Important? Privacy, Dignity and Development of the New Zealand Breach of Privacy Tort (May 1, 2008). Law Liberty, Legislation: Essays in Honour of Joh Burrows QC, J. Finn and S. Todd (eds) (LexisNexis, Wellington, 2008) pp. 231-247; Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 113/2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2383510

Nicole A. Moreham (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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