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Fearn v Tate Gallery in the UK Supreme Court: Private Nuisance or Privacy?

May 29, 2024
Edgar Graham Room, School of Law, QUB (MST.02.002)
13:00 - 14:30
Free of charge

Queen's University Belfast School of Law

QUB Human Rights Centre

Speakers: Professor Paula Giliker (Bristol University)

TitleFearn v Tate Gallery in the UK Supreme Court: Private Nuisance or Privacy?
Professor Giliker will examine the private nuisance decision of the UK Supreme Court in Fearn v Tate Gallery [2023] UKSC 4 from the perspective of privacy law. An action was brought against the Tate Modern by flat-owners in a nearby block of luxury glass-fronted flats. Installation of a viewing gallery in 2016, offering 360-degree panoramic views of London, had enabled visitors to the Tate to look into the flats which were only 35 m away. They were able to observe clearly the lives of those living in the flats. The Court likened it to living in a human zoo. Yet what looks like an obvious invasion of privacy case (and indeed was characterised by the Court of Appeal as such) was dealt with by the Supreme Court as a private nuisance case. The paper will examine the progress of Fearn from High Court to Supreme Court and discuss the likely impact of a decision that seeks to protect the claimants from intrusion upon seclusion by overlooking via the tort of private nuisance rather than addressing the scope of an evolving privacy law.

This event will take place in-person on Wednesday 29 May 2024 at 13:00pm in the Edgar Graham Room, School of Law, QUB (MST.02.002)

School of Law
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Name Deaglan Coyle
Phone 02890973293