The Origins of The Right To Privacy

04Mar18

In 1890, Louis D. Brandeis and his law partner Samuel D. Warren published the article “The Right to Privacy” in the Harvard Law Review. It is one of the most cited law review articles of all time, and Brandeis and Warren are often credited with creating a new legal right. But were they really the first to articulate this basic human right. Megan Richardson, professor Melbourne Law School does not think so, and she argues her case in a new book published by Cambridge University Press titled The Right to Privacy: Origins and Influence of a Nineteenth-Century Idea. To bolster her thesis, Richardson looks at not only the sources that Brandeis and Warren cite, but also some that they missed, and weaves them together to show how what was once a non-existent legal right has become one that everyone takes for granted.

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