About this subject
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The law of privacy is one of the fastest-developing fields in the law across the world. It has critical relevance to the media and to the freedom of the media to report on matters of serious public interest and concern.
This subject will consider, analyse and critique both the current and developing law, not just in Australia but across other jurisdictions including the United Kingdom, Canada, NZ and the United States. We will consider whether the appropriate balance is struck, in both liability and remedies. The current direct and indirect protection of privacy – at common law and under statute – will be considered. We take a comparative perspective in our critical analysis of proposals for law reform.
Principal topics will include:
- Rights to privacy and competing private rights and public interests,
- Indirect protection of privacy at common law: identifying gaps in protection,
- The law of breach of confidence,
- The development of the law of privacy in other countries,
- Statutory protections in Australia,
- Appropriate remedies for breaches of privacy,
- Proposals for reform in Australia.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject should be able to:
- Identify and explain the key principles underlying the law of privacy, including its relevance to media, freedom of expression, and public interest,
- Analyse and evaluate the development of privacy laws across jurisdictions, such as the Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States,
- Critically assess protections of privacy under common law and statutory provisions, and identify appropriate remedies available for breaches of privacy,
- Appraise proposals for law reform in the field of privacy, particularly within the Australian context, and their potential effects on maintaining an appropriate balance between privacy, media freedom, and public interests,
- Make informed judgements about how legal doctrines such as breach of confidence, would apply to hypothetical and real-world scenarios.
- Critically assess complex legal concepts, case law, and legislative frameworks related to privacy.
- Enhance research skills by analysing and comparing legal systems, case precedents, and legislative provisions in order to understand the nuances of privacy law on a global scale and make informed judgments based on cross-jurisdictional perspectives.
- Engage in discussions related to privacy law, in order to present analyses, critiques, and proposals for reform persuasively, addressing diverse audiences including legal professionals, policymakers, and the general public.
Last updated: 10 November 2023