W&L Law’s Fairfield Publishes Article in the Osgoode Hall Law Journal Prof. Josh Fairfield published "'You Keep Using That Word': Why Privacy Doesn’t Mean What Lawyers Think."
Washington and Lee law professor Josh Fairfield has published an article in the Osgoode Hall Law Journal. The article, “’You Keep Using That Word’: Why Privacy Doesn’t Mean What Lawyers Think,” explores how the need to define privacy, and the difficulty in attempting to do so, has impeded our ability to protect it in law.
“Like Procrustes, who strapped his victims to a bed and then either lopped off their feet if they stuck out or stretched the person on a rack if they were too short, lawyers are specifically trained to stretch and cut words. Tools of definition are badly suited to determine what people mean when they say “privacy.” For example, the actual meaning of “privacy” might better be explored through the tools of linguistics or cultural anthropology than through the tool of legal definition. This article therefore recommends that lawyers should set aside the flawed tool of definition and pick up the tool of analogy when they ask what words like privacy mean,” Fairfield writes.
The article is available online at the Osgoode Hall Law Journal website.
If you know any W&L faculty who would be great profile subjects, tell us about them! Nominate them for a web profile.