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Law Commission goes all social networky

By Steven | June 22, 2009

And you thought they were geeks. Bzzzzt. The Law Commission has launched an interactive website called “TalkLaw” for us to have our say on law reform issues. (I did a couple of holiday stints at the Law Commission in the early 90s, and they were throwing around a similar idea then – but it was a newsletter rather than a website. I wanted it to be called “ReForum”, but nobody else liked the idea. It’s still available, Commissioners!)

The site optimistically lists “What is the Law Commission?” as a Frequently Asked Question. They wish.

The essence of the site is its forums on legal issues. It’s an easy way to make submissions on the projects the Commission is working on. At the moment, they’re looking for feedback on privacy issues. They’ve sensibly carved up some of the key questions to make it easier to provide a response, and equally sensibly cast some in the form of fact scenarios, so you don’t have to provide waffly answers to abstract questions. For instance:

Scenario: Ari and Beth* were in a relationship, and Ari took intimate photographs of Beth with her consent. After the relationship breaks up, Ari posts these photos on the internet without Beth’s consent.

It may be possible for Beth to go to court and sue Ari for damages, or seek an injunction, in situations like this. However, there are currently no criminal provisions that would prohibit Ari’s publishing the photos simply because of their private nature and the effect of publication on Beth.

Should it be a criminal offence to publish deeply private information about someone without their consent?

Are there any types of invasions of privacy that are so serious they should be criminal offences?

Contribute your answer here.

Topics: General, Privacy Act, Privacy tort | No Comments »


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