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Law and the Media, 4th Edition by Estelle Overs, Tom Cassels, Tom Crone

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8 The ‘New’ Right to Privacy

Peter Grundberg

8.1 Introduction

It has long been recognized that a general right to privacy exists in English law. However, there is no express common law ‘tort of privacy’ or statutory right to privacy. Prior to the enactment of the Human Rights Act 1998 (‘the HRA’), the ‘right’ could only be established by combining several different common law and European law strands. A person who claimed his right to privacy had been infringed could bring an action against the defendant for breach of confidence, trespass or defamation. The English courts also attempted to give effect to the provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights (the ‘Convention’). However, these common law causes of action provided only indirect ...

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