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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: July 2010

21 - A common core of personality protection

from Part III - A common core of personality protection


Both the introductory essays and the national reports with their accompanying comparative remarks have made it clear that the protection of personality in European private law is a diverse field. The legal bases – constitutions, codes, statutes, case law, codes of conduct – as well as the perimeter of the scope of protection and the remedies are each exhibited very differently. However, the project has shown that there are still commonalities in all of this legal diversity. It must be stressed again that we are not concerned with one (general) personality right or one comprehensive aspect of personality such as privacy. Such expressions merely serve as umbrella terms. They have no specific content; they constitute the parameters of law-making through the courts. Instead, there is an array of personality interests, which have been developed at different times in certain social contexts and which are legally protected nowadays. Their borders cannot be defined exactly. Moreover, their legal treatment can differ within an individual legal system. Due to the limited space available to us, we were unable to include all relevant personality interests in the questionnaire. Yet, within this plurality of legally protected personality interests we display six representative aspects here, and will examine whether and how much there is agreement in respect of their legal protection. The six aspects are: (1) dignity and honour/reputation; (2) privacy; (3) the right to one's image; (4) the commercial appropriation of personality; (5) the right to personal identity; and (6) self-determination.