Even textbook writers are now recognising public sentiment in favour of more comprehensive protection for personal privacy and are predicting movements in the law of Australia. However, given the inevitable campaign of ‘righteous indignation’ that media interests would mount against any government proposing general privacy laws aimed at legislatively restricting ‘freedom of the press’, it would be naive to expect our politicians to champion this cause.

Therefore it seems that, in the absence of anything other than the so far glacial advances by the common law in Australia, progress will most probably only be made by the judicial recognition of rights contained in international agreements and treaties, leading to the enforcement of those rights even in the absence of specific legislation. This paper examines the potential for treaty rights to be invoked in the courts to curb media excesses by enforcing rights to personal privacy in Australia.