AALL Spectrum Blog

  • Bookmark and Share

The AALL Spectrum® blog is published by the American Association of Law Libraries. Submissions from AALL members and other members of the legal community are highly encouraged. Opinions and editorial views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of AALL. AALL does not assume any responsibility for statements advanced by contributors. Previously, the AALL Spectrum Blog was located at aallspectrum.wordpress.com.

The AALL Spectrum blog is no longer published. Previous posts are archived on this page.
10/16/2012 11:48:11 AM

Breach of Confidence: Social Origins and Modern Developments

Breach of Confidence: Social Origins and Modern Developments

By Megan Richardson, Michael Bryan, Martin Vranken, and Katy Barnett


Edward Elgar Publishing Limited

170 pages


Available on Amazon for U.S. $110

As the title implies, this monograph is a tour through the history and development of the law concerning breach of confidence. The authors take us on a survey of domestic cases from common law countries stretching from the 1700s to current day, international law, and leading treatises. This title would be a good addition to any collection that supports historical legal research, particularly in the areas of privacy, intellectual property, and employment law. It would also be helpful, not just for law libraries, but for the libraries of educational institutions that offer various professional degrees.

The authors, all of whom are associated with University of Melbourne, give a good multinational perspective on their subject. Megan Richardson is a Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne and Co-Director of the Centre for Media and Communications Law. Michael Bryan is an Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Melbourne. He specializes in restitution, equity, trusts and commercial law. Martin Vranken is a Reader in Law at the University of Melbourne. He is primarily a labour lawyer. Katy Barnett is a Lecturer in Law at the University of Melbourne. She was awarded her PhD in 2010 and has previously published regarding breach of contract.

The authors trace the doctrine of breach of confidence from equity to tort law in England, the development of trade secrets and privacy torts in the United States, and a sort of sui generis privacy law in Canada and New Zealand. The book is arranged chronologically. We are informed how the doctrine’s beginnings are shaped by small business, private and domestic relations, and master-servant dealings typical of the time period, up through the modern urbanized capitalist society. As society shifts, so does the doctrine of breach of confidence. Along the way, much thinking is borrowed from the principles of contract law, privacy and publicity rights, public interest exceptions, freedom of speech, and whistle-blowing.

No matter how the doctrine shifts, it persists. It is shaped and applied in varying ways according to the time and culture in which it is used. But one thing is sure, breach of confidence is just as crucial a concept to us now in our information based, 24/7, instant news society as it has ever been. It is more important now than in any other time in history that we both protect information privacy and also insure access to information. The correct balance is the key, and these authors give us much to think about.

The text is presented in eight chapters. In addition there are eight pages of index and an appendix containing a table of both English and American cases. The appendix presents a chronological collection of cases including the case citation, subject matter, and digest for each. This is a great tool for the legal practitioner who wishes to use this text as a reference.

Wanita Scroggs

International Law Librarian

Stetson University, College of Law

Posted By Wanita Scroggs at 10/16/2012 11:48:11 AM  0 Comments
10/12/2012 12:57:39 PM

Highlights from Fall 2012 LLAM eNews

The fall 2012 issue of LLAM eNews, a publication of the Law Library Association of Maryland, has been posted. In addition to organization notices and reviews of AALL Annual Meeting sessions, this issue includes a  concise but informative piece on delivering final products to library clients. The article includes a number of considerations that are worth keeping in mind, such keeping deliverables in proportion to the requests they are responding to, and always providing source information. Deliverables that consistently have the characteristics discussed in this article will likely lead to satisfied and happy clients and patrons.

Posted By Benjamin Keele at 10/12/2012 12:57:39 PM  0 Comments
10/12/2012 12:26:38 PM

Highlights from MALL Markings, Volume 21, Issue 4

Volume 21, Issue 4 of MALL Markings, the publication of the Mid-America Association of Law Libraries, has been released. Two especially interesting articles in this issue come from the Creighton University Law Library. The first discusses creative ways to recycle obsolete, hardcover volumes. Two suggestions were donating volumes to high schools for use in art projects, and giving them away for targeting practice. Apparently hardcover law books hold up well to shotgun rounds.

The second article describes Creighton's project to digitize briefs filed in the Nebraska's Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. The article walks through workflow library staffs follows to scan the briefs and load the files into the school's institutional repository.

Posted By Benjamin Keele at 10/12/2012 12:26:38 PM  0 Comments