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Justice Ian Callinan at Keble

Monday 30 April 2007

Following a lecture last year by Justice Dyson Heydon (Justice of the High Court of Australia and Honorary Fellow of Keble), Justice Ian Callinan, also of the High Court of Australia, spoke to Keble lawyers and social scientists on Monday 23 April about the development of a right to privacy in Australian and English common law. His Honour began with the question of whether rugby great Andrew Ettingshausen should be able to sue for the infringement of his right to privacy when he was secretly photographed naked in the showers and the photos were published by a leading magazine. To many, the suggestion seemed unremarkable, but his Honour explained the trenchant opposition that this progressive development of law has seen in England and Australia, before advocating a model for the development and recognition of a future right to privacy. His speech will be published later in the year in the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal and will be a benchmark for the undoubted future consideration of this area of law. The audience at Keble included leading academic experts in the area of tort law and a lively debate followed, with Justice Callinan rebutting suggestions that judges are not in a position to assess whether since the rejection of a right to privacy in 1937 society had moved to a position where there is an increased need for recognition of an individual’s privacy, or that recognised wrongs such as infringement of confidence provide sufficient legal protection