Journal article

The Reasonableness of Remaining Unobserved: A Comparative Analysis of Visual Surveillance and Voyeurism in Criminal Law

Bert-Jaap Koops, Bryce Clayton Newell, Andrew Roberts, Ivan Škorvánek, Maša Galič

Law & Social Inquiry | Wiley-Blackwell Publishing | Published : 2018


The criminalization of offensive, privacy-intrusive behavior is an important form of privacy protection. However, few studies exist of visual observation in criminal law. We address this gap by researching when nonconsensual visual observation is deemed harmful enough to trigger criminal sanctions, and on what basis the law construes the "reasonableness of remaining unobserved," through a nine-country comparative study. We distinguish between voyeurism-centric approaches (focusing largely on nudity and sex) and broader, intrusion-centric approaches (such as observation inside closed spaces). Both approaches explicitly or implicitly reflect "reasonable" privacy expectations, listing criteria ..

View full abstract

University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek

Funding Acknowledgements

The research for this article was made possible by a grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Project Number 453-14-004.