Seminar on Reclaiming ‘Privacy’: The Adulteration of a Fundamental Right by Professor Raymond Wacks

28 November, 2019

The vagueness of the concept of privacy and the increasingly indistinct borders of the right to privacy endanger its viability. This unfortunate development undermines the (often competing) rights of free speech, security, and the administration of criminal justice. It will be suggested that such ambiguity and incoherence are best overcome by explicit legislation that treats the protection of personal information as the central concern of the law. The requirements of the English tort of the misuse of private information acknowledge this factor, but, under the sway of the Human Rights Act 1998, the courts have failed to limit its scope. The talk may also consider the broader question of definition in the law, a matter that preoccupied HLA Hart.

About the speaker:

Raymond Wacks is Emeritus Professor of Law and Legal Theory at the University of Hong Kong. He is the author or editor of more than twenty books. His major areas of interest are legal philosophy and human rights, in particular the protection of privacy. These include Personal Information: Privacy and the Law; Privacy and Media Freedom, and Privacy: A Very Short Introduction all published by Oxford University Press. His most recent publication subject is Protecting Personal Information: The Right to Privacy Reconsidered, with A Monti, (Hart, 2019). He is also the author of several works on various aspects of law and legal theory published by OUP including Understanding Jurisprudence: An Introduction to Legal Theory; Philosophy of Law: A Very Short Introduction, and Law: A Very Short Introduction. His books have been translated into eleven languages.