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Liberty IntactHuman Rights in English Law$
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Michael Tugendhat

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790990

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790990.001.0001

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Private and Family Life, Home and Correspondence

Private and Family Life, Home and Correspondence

(p.131) 10 Private and Family Life, Home and Correspondence
Liberty Intact

Michael Tugendhat

Oxford University Press

In family life too much privacy was given by the law’s respect for patriarchal customs. Common law protected rivacy in documents through the owners’ property rights, and by condemning unreasonable searches and seizures by state officials. Common law protected freedom of speech in private conversations by the qualified privilege defences to defamation, legal professional privilege, privilege against self-incrimination, and the law of confidentiality. Parliament gave protection to private information through statutes on the mail, and in copyright. Information in photographs and digital media led to the extension of privacy law beyond confidential relationship. This was by the common law in the US. In England it was prompted by the HRA. Telephones led to statutes protection of privacy against the state. The harm principle of JS Mill (legislation should only prohibit what was harmful) was a protection for privacy previously expressed by Locke and in the French Declaration.

Keywords:   privacy, correspondence, searches and seizures, copyright, freedom of speech, surveillance, qualified privilege, confidentiality, photographs

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