10.1 Privacy - Introduction

Welcome to the first lesson of the tenth topic in this module guide - Privacy! The protection of privacy has never been direct in English law; today it finds its strongest basis in the Human Rights Act 1998 and in the interpretation of other laws. Article 8 and the right to respect for private and family life must be balanced with article 10 and the freedom of expression. An understanding of the case law here will give you a greater understanding of the extent to which privacy is protected.

At the end of this section, you should be comfortable in applying the two stage Campbell test, a test which recognises the influence of the Human Rights Act and defines private information and the reasonable expectation of privacy. This section begins by setting the Human Rights context before explaining the Campbell case, and going into detail about each element of this test. It goes on to discuss the freedom of expression element of these considerations and ends with some other important notes on privacy.

Goals for this section:

  • To understand to what extent privacy is protected in English law.

Objectives for this section:

  • To understand what impact Article 8 and Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 have had on the English protection of privacy.
  • To be able to apply the two stage test in Campbell, and understand how the case law has defined private information and the reasonable expectation of privacy.
  • To understand how freedom of expression interacts with the protection of privacy.

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