Privacy and Horizontality: Relegating the Common Law

5 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: July 1, 2007


This piece analyses of the English Court of Appeal decision of McKennitt v Ash [2006] EWCA Civ 1714. It considers the Court's approach to the horizontal effect of the Human Rights Act 1998, arguing that it allowed the Act and the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights to exert too great an influence of the development of the common law. The article also highlights several aspects of the decision which impact on the development of the English privacy action including the Court’s rejection of the argument that a person who has revealed some information from a particular ‘zone’ of their lives will have a reduced expectation of privacy in relation to any other information that falls within that zone.

Keywords: Privacy, breach of confidence, misuse of private information, Article 8, horizontal effect, Strasbourg, European Court of Human Rights, Human Rights Act, false information, McKennitt v Ash.

JEL Classification: K10, K13

Suggested Citation

Moreham, Nicole A., Privacy and Horizontality: Relegating the Common Law (July 1, 2007). (2007) 123 Law Quarterly Review 373; Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 114/2015. Available at SSRN:

Nicole A. Moreham (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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