The Legal Protection of Personality Rights

Chinese and European Perspectives


This book aims to investigate the way in which personality rights are protected in China through a comparative and cross-cultural lens drawing on perspectives from Europe and elsewhere in the world. Currently, the question whether or not to incorporate a special law on personal rights – the right to life, the right to health, and the rights to reputation and privacy – into a future Chinese Civil Code is heatedly debated in the Chinese legal community. The essential topics that are addressed in this book include general issues of personality rights, personality rights in Constitutional law, personality rights in private law, the legislative development of personality rights in China, case studies of the right to privacy, personality rights in the mass media and the internet, competition law aspects of the right of publicity, the protection of patients’ personal information, and personality rights in the family context. The book offers a broad investigation of personality rights protection in both China and Europe and provides the first substantive comparison of the Chinese and European regimes. The project is conceived as a joint effort on the part of a carefully chosen team of Chinese and European academics, working closely together. The team consists of both senior scholars and young researchers led by well-known experts in the field of comparative tort law.

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Ken Oliphant is Professor of Tort Law at the University of Bristol. From 2009 to 2013, while on extended leave from Bristol, he was Director of the Institute for European Tort Law in the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He still holds the position of Vice-Director of the European Centre of Tort and Insurance Law, Vienna. He previously held faculty positions at King’s College London (1988-99) and Cardiff University (1999-2006). He has written extensively on English, European and comparative tort law, and compensation for incapacity. He is the joint author of Tort Law: Text & Materials, Oxford University Press, 2013 (with Mark Lunney) and Torts, Palgrave MacMillan, 2011 (with Alastair Mullis), general editor of the practitioners’ reference work Tort Law, Butterworths Common Law Series, 2015, and editor of several books in the series Tort and Insurance Law. He is a member of the European Group on Tort Law (and leading its current project on public authority liability), the European Law Institute (and a member of its project team on collective redress and competition damages), and the American Law Institute (for which he is currently an Adviser on the Restatement Third of Torts: Economic Harm).

Zhang Pinghua (PhD in law) is Professor of Law and Dean of the Law School at the Yantai University in China. He is also the chairman of the Association of International Law in Shandong province. He was granted “outstanding contribution expert”, and “legal counsel” by the Shandong government, and awarded the City's “1st May Labour Medal” by the Yantai government. He has published 12 books and over 60 academic articles, and has twice won the first prize of Provincial Excellent Teaching Achievement Award. On five occasions he was awarded the prize of Excellent Achievements of Social Sciences at the provincial level. Recently, he published a book calling on tort law research to first focus on the macro problems, and to adopt a multidisciplinary approach.

Chen Lei is an Associate Professor and Associate Dean at City University of Hong Kong. He has published extensively in the areas of property theory, contract law, and Chinese legal history. He is a council member of the Chinese Civil Law Association and an executive council member of the Chinese Consumer Protection Law Association. Internationally, he is an associate member of the International Academy of Comparative Law and a Fellow of the European Law Institute. Among others, his books include Chinese Contract Law: Comparative Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, 2017); Toward a Chinese Civil Code (Brill, 2012).
PrefaceKen Oliphant, Chen Lei and Zhang Pinghua List of Authors IntroductionKen Oliphant, Chen Lei and Zhang Pingua

Part 1: On the Legal Protection of Personality Rights in General: Europe

1 The Protection of Personality Rights in Comparative Perspective: Basic QuestionsBarbara C Steininger 2 Personality Rights in Different European Legal Systems: Privacy, Dignity, Honour and ReputationEva Ondreasova 3 The Protection of Personality Rights in Private Law: RemediesMonika Hinteregger 4 Human Rights and the Protection of Personality Rights in Europe: Comparative ReflectionsErnst Karner

Part 2: On the Legal Protection of Personality Rights in General: China

5 Codifying Personality Rights in China: Legislative Innovation or Scaremongering?Chen Lei 6 The Structure of the Interest in Personality and the Introduction of a Statutory Right of PersonalityZhang Pinghua

Part 3: Special Topics Relating to the Protection of Personality Rights by Private Law

7 Personality Rights and the Internet in EuropeLaura Emilia Weissel 8 The Right to Privacy in the Internet Age: The Chinese PerspectiveJia Wang 9 Personality Rights, the Mass Media and the European Convention on Human RightsThomas Thiede 10 Protection of Patient Personality Rights in ChinaDing Chunyan 11 On the Independence of Personalities and Restrictions on the Status of SpousesFan Liying Index
The primary audience of this book is an academic one. In addition, policy makers, legal practitioners and private parties could also find this book useful in order to gain a better (comparative) understanding of the substance of personality rights protection in China and Europe.