Law, Morality, and the Private Domain

Law, Morality, and the Private Domain

Law, Morality, and the Private Domain

Law, Morality, and the Private Domain

Synopsis

The extent to which the law ought to preserve a distinctly private realm is a pressing concern in our surveillance society in which personal information is increasingly collected, transferred, and stored.

Excerpt

The essays collected here are divided into two parts. the leitmotif of the first part is the ineluctable complicity between law and morality. Elements of this normative affinity seem to have absorbed me for at least two decades in at least three jurisdictions. I am not sure why, but I have my suspicions. Some of the problems lurking at these crossroads are pursued in the chapters on morality and rights.

My halting steps towards a more lucid concept of privacy, begun at Oxford thirty years ago, propelled me along an intersecting highway where moral and cultural values stake out part of the shifting frontier between the public and the private domain. This quest is the nucleus of the second part of the book. Whether either route leads to an attractive destination—or a hapless cul-de-sac—must be left for readers to judge

Several debts have—felicitously—been incurred along the way. Friends and colleagues have been humane enough to indulge my prodigal attempts to make sense of the questions I consider in these essays. They have done so over the years by providing generous encouragement, assistance, or (most sensibly) by signalling my many errors. For these favours I am most grateful to John Bacon-Shone, Colin Bennett, Peter Birks, Laurence Boulle, Michael Bryan, Tom Campbell, Ann Cavoukian, Albert Chen, Roger Cotterrell, John Dugard, Ronald Dworkin, David . . .

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