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Celebrity and Royal Privacy, the Media and the Law

Celebrity and Royal Privacy, the Media and the Law
ISBN:  9780414050877
Published by:  Sweet & Maxwell
Publication Date:  04 Dec 2015
Subscription Information:  Non-Subscribable Product
Format:  Hardback
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This new work explores the legal landscape surrounding celebrity, privacy and the media. It examines how English law has, and has not, balanced celebrities’ legal expectations of informational and seclusional privacy against the press and the media’s rights to inform and publish. It considers the raft of important recent cases that has significantly changed the law in this area.

This new title:

  • Explores the position of the Monarch and members of the Royal family in relation to privacy laws
  • Analyses how the requirements of proportionality should be understood in various practical situations where disputes over privacy arise
  • Examines all the key decisions of recent years, from Mosley and Van Hannover to Google Spain and the Ryan Giggs case
  • Defines the key concepts of “celebrity” and “privacy”
  • Explains breach of confidence and the different classes of protected information
  • Covers misuse of private information
  • Analyses parliamentary privilege in the age of social media
  • Explains the regimes for protecting the anonymity of children of celebrities, and the European case law governing public pictures of celebrities
  • Shows how celebrities can use copyright as a privacy remedy
  • Covers the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, and the criminal offences under it
  • Explains how data protection can be used as a privacy remedy
  • Looks at the important case law emerging under the Defamation Act 2013


Part I
Chapter 1 - Introduction: Key Concepts of Celebrity, Privacy and Proportionality

Part II
Chapter 2 - Breach of Confidence as a Privacy Remedy
Chapter 3 - Misuse of Private Information as a Privacy Remedy
Chapter 4 - Copyright and Image Rights as a Privacy Remedy
Chapter 5 - Protection of Harassment Act 1997 as a Privacy Remedy
Chapter 6 - Data Protection Act 1998 as a Privacy Remedy
Chapter 7 - Defamation Act 2013 as a Privacy Remedy
Chapter 8 - Conclusions

Part III
Chapter 9 - The monarch and members of the royal family
Chapter 10 - Freedom of Information Act 2000: post-enactment changes made in 2010 in respect of the monarch and the royal family
Chapter 11 - The Sovereign Grant Act 2011
Chapter 12 - The Convention of sealing the royal wills



Professor Robin Callender Smith is an intellectual property and media lawyer with extensive judicial, regulatory and academic experience.

He sits as an Information Rights judge and an Immigration judge and has been a media law barrister for 35 years, advising publications including the Daily Express, Sunday Express, Daily Star, The Sun and The Sun on Sunday. He also lectures on the LLB and LLM Privacy & Information Law and Media Law courses at Queen Mary University London (QMUL) and its Centre for Commercial Law Studies where he is visiting Professor of Media Law.


"A comprehensive study of privacy actions, it’s an invaluable textbook for both lawyers and journalists..." - Roy Greenslade, The Guardian

"Professor Callender Smith examines [the] issues connected with the Royal family in the third part of his massive and well-researched work .... but the book ranges much wider than simply examining the relationship between celebrity, royalty and privacy .... He examines the development of privacy law through cases brought and fought be celebrities which led to the tort of misuse of private information, as well as in the context of the legislation which frames much media law, such as the Defamation Act 2013, the Data Protection Act, the law of breach of confidence, and copyright law and image rights." – Mike Dodd, The Media Lawyer

"I am not sure that it reflects well on me that what makes me think this is as readable a law book as you can imagine is the way in which Professor Callender Smith balances the celebrity detail (published tasty tittle tattle, albeit sometimes emanating from HM judges) with legal analysis. There are recurring flashes of recognition which flavour one's reading and drives one on. I suppose the depth that has been brought to the work should be no surprise. Once a journalist, the author worked as a media law barrister for over 35 years, advising national newspaper on editors on pre-publication issues. Among his other accomplishments, he has acted as an Information Rights Judge .... This is a book I enjoyed and would especially recommend for its ease of digestion." – Laurence Eastham, SCL Magazine

"This whole incident [the 2011 change to s.37 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 relating to information requests about the Royal Family] constitutes a crucial piece of evidence for Robin Callender Smith's  proposition that the British political and legal system in unduly deferential about the Royal Family's privacy, protecting them not just from intrusion into their private lives but also from legitimate inquiry into their public roles. We are often told that the Royal Family has no remaining political power. But, as Callender Smith argues, it can lobby for its interests almost entirely without being called to account." – Professor David Howarth, Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of Cambridge, The Times Literary Supplement

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