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Breach of Confidence

Social Origins and Modern Developments Megan Richardson, Professor of Law, Michael Bryan, Emeritus Professor of Law, Martin Vranken, Associate Professor and Reader in Law and Katy Barnett, Lecturer in Law, University of Melbourne, Australia
This concise yet detailed book explores the historical foundations and modern developments of the ancient doctrine of breach of confidence.

The authors show that despite its humble beginnings, stilted development and air of quaintness the doctrine has modern relevance and influence, its sense of ‘trust and confidence’ still resonating with the information society of today. Topical chapters include, ‘Inventing an equitable doctrine’, ‘Privacy and publicity in early Victorian Britain’, ‘Searching for balance in the employment relationship’, as well as many others.
Extent: 192 pp
Hardback Price: $112.00 Web: $100.80
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 978 1 84844 693 9
Availability: In Stock
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  • Law - Academic
  • Information and Media Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
This concise yet detailed book explores the historical foundations and modern developments of the ancient doctrine of breach of confidence.

The authors show that despite its humble beginnings, stilted development and air of quaintness the doctrine has modern relevance and influence, its sense of ‘trust and confidence’ still resonating with the information society of today. Topical chapters include, ‘Inventing an equitable doctrine’, ‘Privacy and publicity in early Victorian Britain’, ‘Searching for balance in the employment relationship’, as well as many others.

Breach of Confidence will make insightful reading for all those interested in issues of privacy and information, and will appeal strongly to practicing lawyers and judges as well as academic researchers and postgraduate law students.
‘. . . this book is a valuable addition to the literature on breach of confidence.’
– Richard Arnold, Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice

‘Well received internationally, the book offers a “shrewd and scholarly” treatment of this often complex area, largely from an historical perspective to which the authors assign direct relevance to today’s information-based society. . . an important research tool not just for lawyers and judges, but academics, students and, dare we say, interested journalists.’
– Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor, The Barrister Magazine

‘The authors of this important book have done a great service to our understanding of this fascinating area of law. Their shrewd and scholarly study traces the development and “myriad reinventions” of this protean doctrine from its eighteen century origins through to its most recent manifestation as a private-facts “tort” in English law, enriching legal analysis with consideration of the philosophical, social and economic contexts. Common law privacy scholars in particular will find that this book directly illuminates contemporary debates.’
– Gavin Phillipson, University of Durham, UK

‘The authors breathe new life into this complex, recondite branch of the law. An illuminating and penetrating study of an ancient remedy whose importance endures – and even increases.’
– Raymond Wacks, University of Hong Kong
Contents: 1. Introduction and Synopsis 2. Inventing an Equitable Doctrine 3. Privacy and Publicity in Early Victorian Britain 4. Secrecy and Late Victorian Markets for Information 5. The Forgotten Years of Breach of Confidence 6. Searching for Balance in the Employment Relationship 7. Revival of an ‘Ancient Doctrine’ 8. Epilogue: The Reinvention of Tradition Appendix: Digest of Nineteenth Century Cases Index