Privacy in Public Places

35 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: November 1, 2006


This article challenges the orthodox view that there can be no right to privacy in a public place. It explains why it is theoretically sound to regard things which happen in public as private. It then presents a fresh analysis of English case law demonstrating first, that the courts are well-placed to protect public privacy interests (as required by the ECtHR) and secondly, that many of the criteria for ascertaining a reasonable expectation of privacy have already been articulated in the common law. It concludes that, as a minimum, individual privacy should be protected if a person experiences a traumatic or humiliating event in a public place or retreats to a secluded place.

Keywords: Privacy, photograph, public place, breach of confidence, Article 8, tort, media law, intrusion

JEL Classification: K10, K13

Suggested Citation

Moreham, Nicole A., Privacy in Public Places (November 1, 2006). (2006) 65 Cambridge Law Journal 606; Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 111/2015. 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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