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The Relationship between Breach of Confidence and the ‘Tort of Misuse of Private Information’

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Under the impetus of the Human Rights Act 1998, English courts have developed the equitable action for breach of confidence to provide fuller protection to privacy than previously was the case. An important issue that arises from this development is the relationship between the ‘old’ law of confidence and the ‘new’ law. Two recent Court of Appeal decisions, McKennitt v Ash and Associated Newspapers v HRH Prince of Wales, indicate that confidential obligations in respect of personal information will remain relevant, as part of the balancing exercise between article 8 and article 10. This piece analyses these two decisions and argues that, on the whole, they represent an appropriate way of reconciling the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ law of confidence.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Until 2007 the King's Law Journal was known as the King's College Law Journal. It was established in 1990 as a legal periodical publishing scholarly and authoritative Articles, Notes and Reports on legal issues of current importance to both academic research and legal practice. It has a national and international readership, and publishes refereed contributions from authors across the United Kingdom, from continental Europe and further afield (particularly Commonwealth countries and USA). The journal includes a Reviews section containing critical notices of recently published books.

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