Police Investigations, Privacy and the Marcel Principle in Breach of Confidence

11 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2020 Last revised: 29 Sep 2020

See all articles by N. A. Moreham

N. A. Moreham

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law

Date Written: March 2, 2020

Abstract

This article argues that courts wanting to impose liability for the disclosure of information about police investigations into an individual's conduct should apply the Marcel principle in breach of confidence rather than the misuse of private information tort. It argues that the wrong at the heart of these cases is not that private information is disclosed but that sensitive information held by the police has ended up in the hands of the media. It suggests that the Marcel principle is particularly useful in dealing with these types of disclosures since it creates obligations of confidence whenever information of a personal or confidential nature is "obtained or received in the exercise of a legal power or in furtherance of a public duty".

Keywords: Marcel principle, privacy, breach of confidence, misuse of private information

JEL Classification: k10, k13

Suggested Citation

Moreham, N. A., Police Investigations, Privacy and the Marcel Principle in Breach of Confidence (March 2, 2020). [2020] Journal of Media Law, Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 78/2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3547209 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3547209

N. A. Moreham (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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