The Federation Press

Privacy Law in Australia

Overview

This book begins by examining the nature and scope of the right to privacy and the moral basis and status: What is privacy? What interests does it affect and protect? Is there a justification for the right?

It discusses the relevant legal regime in all Australian jurisdictions. It covers the extent to which privacy has been protected under common law and equity and then weaves these principles into the statutory discussion of privacy. It focusses specifically on the most important areas of privacy protection - medical records, communications, criminal investigations and DNA, employment, territory, etc. Finally, it examines how the law may develop in the future.

Reviews

The scope of the text is as broad as the law of privacy itself, including privacy issues about criminal investigations, media, health and genetic data, the internet, computers, email and the workplace. ... Doyle and Bagaric have successfully placed all of the key statutes and significant cases together to complete a comprehensive picture of the law of privacy. Until now, the topic has lacked a comprehensive reference book. The text is well structured and, despite the law’s complexities, it is easy to read. It provides a foundation for privacy research and can serve as a valuable reference tool for lawyers in the field. - Ciaran Houston, (2006) 26 Qld Lawyer 272

There is a good discussion of the development of the notion of privacy in the second chapter, entitled Is there a moral right to privacy? This points the text towards an audience with an interest in sociology or legal research, as well as the practitioner with a desire to understand the principles underlying the current law. Chapter 3 deals with the common law, and recent developments in the UK and New Zealand (but no other jurisdictions) are covered in a comprehensive manner. A brief commentary on the situation in other common law countries, especially Canada and the USA, would have been of interest. Chapter 4 covers the Australian statutory regimes. There is a brief overview by jurisdiction, followed by a more detailed analysis on a subject-by-subject basis, including critical commentary from a policy perspective. It is here that a busy practitioner may find useful material, particularly as a starting point providing a good overview. ... Is this text aimed at those interested in legal policy and reform, or is it intended as a standard reference? The authors seem to have a foot in both camps in the present edition, but the book falls short in its coverage of the law in the various jurisdictions from a practical point of view. It may well be that the primary intent was to promote further discussion and thought on the subject generally; if that is the goal of this work, then it is well placed to achieve this aim. - Law Letter (Jnl of Law Society of Tasmania), Autumn 2007

Table of Contents

The multi-faceted nature of privacy
Is there a moral right to privacy?
Privacy and the common law
Statutory protection of privacy and discrete areas of privacy regulation
Proposals for privacy law reform: Future directions

Of interest...