Mr Thomas Bennett
(email at email@example.com)
Tom is a lecturer at Newcastle Law School, and holds degrees from Newcastle (LL.B) and City University (LL.M). He was called to the Bar in 2009 (Inner Temple). His primary research interests lie in the right to privacy and judicial method in developing the common law.
Tom’s Ph.D thesis is principally concerned with the judicial development of the common law as it relates to privacy. Lord Irvine’s view, as the HRA 1998 was passed, was that the judiciary were “pen-poised” to develop a law of privacy. Despite some early academic enthusiasm surrounding the emergence of “misuse of private information” as a head of liability in Campbell v MGN Ltd (2004), the courts have refused to recognise either a general tort of privacy or general right to privacy capable of underpinning further discrete torts plugging gaps in protection for this right. The thesis asks why, and what can be done about it? Examination of the post-HRA privacy doctrine reveals the presence of three (slightly overlapping, but conceptually distinguishable) “barriers” to the development of a general privacy tort. The thesis sets out to critique all three, in the process engaging with constitutional objections to judicial “activism”, problems of linguistic indeterminacy surrounding the word “privacy” and the issue of judicial “procrastination”. It argues that these barriers, however, whilst seemingly entrenched in the judicial mind-set, are not insurmountable. What is required is the greater exercise of imagination – specifically a notion of “legal imagination” – and the thesis offers an account of this concept, explaining its relevance to the operations of the common law.
- Bennett TDC, “Emerging privacy torts in Canada and New Zealand: an English perspective” (2014) 36(5) European Intellectual Property Review 298
- Bennett TDC, “Privacy, Corrective Justice and Incrementalism: Legal Imagination and the Recognition of a Privacy Tort in Ontario” (2013) 59(1) McGill Law Journal 49
- Bennett TDC, “Flood v Times Newspapers Ltd: Reynolds privilege returns to the UK's highest court” (2012) 23(5) Entertainment Law Review 134.
- Bennett TDC, “The Relevance and Importance of Third Party Interests in Privacy Cases” (2011) 127 Law Quarterly Review 531.
- Bennett TDC, “Corrective Justice and Horizontal Privacy” (2010) The Journal Jurisprudence 545