Privacy - A Comparative Law Approach

Enseignant(s): Fountoulakis Mäsch Christiana
Cursus: Master
Type d'enseignement: Cours
Langue(s) du cours: Anglais
Semestre(s): SA-2022

The course focuses on the protection of individual privacy in different legal systems. The importance and the meaning of "privacy" in Western European, Anglo-American and other legal cultures will be discussed on the basis of selected cases and articles.  We will see the different facets of privacy and the extent to which each of it is legally protected under the various laws. It will also be shown that, under some laws, privacy is considered as an independent legal right, whereas in other countries no legal action can be brought for invasion of privacy.

A further key aspect will be the protection of the personal sphere at the age of internet. New technologies allow for arguably unlimited collection, sharing and storage of personal information. We will examine whether some laws are more concerned than others about these developments and whether there are common approaches, comparable legislation or similar case law. 

In the academic year 2022/23, this course will be streamed.


There will be a final oral exam of 15 minutes at the end of the semester. 


The students will be familiar with the Swiss, foreign and international case law and legislation discussed in class. They will be able to describe the similarities and differences regarding the protection of privacy under the different laws and draw conclusions from this comparison.

The students are expected to have accomplished the recommended reading and to actively participate in class.