The Development of the Action for Breach of Confidence in a Post-HRA Era
Intellectual Property Quarterly, Vol. 1, p. 19 - 59, 2007
53 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2017
Date Written: 2007
The Human Rights Act 1998 has wrought significant changes to the action for breach of confidence as it relates to personal or private information. This is unsurprising given that the law of confidence has protected privacy interests in the past, albeit in a partial fashion. As courts have sought to give effect to Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights, significant doctrinal shifts in the action for breach of confidence have occurred. These include: the emphasis on whether information is ‘private’ as opposed to ‘confidential’; the falling away of the requirement of a relationship of confidence; the intertwining of the public interest defence with the right to freedom of expression; the circumstances in which interim injunctions are granted and the awarding of damages for mental distress. An examination of these shifts is important for clarifying the law in a rapidly developing and somewhat unstable area and for informing the debate about the necessity of an independent tort of privacy.
Keywords: Breach of Confidence, Privacy, Human Rights Act 1998, Campbell v Mirror Group Newspapers, Douglas v Hello!, A v B & C
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