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Stephens -v- Avery

Stephens -v- Avery

Postby dls » Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:04 am

Stephens -v- Avery - - 1988 - Browne-Wilkinson V-C J ([1988] Ch 449) - Equity - Intellectual Property
The court heard a claim in confidentiality. Browne-Wilkinson V-C J said as to the case of Glyn v Weston Feature Film Co: "I entirely accept the principle stated in that case, the principle being that a court of equity will not enforce copyright, and presumably also will not enforce a duty of confidence, relating to matters which have a grossly immoral tendency. But at the present day the difficulty is to identify what sexual conduct is to be treated as grossly immoral. In 1915 there was a code of sexual morals accepted by the overwhelming majority of society. A judge could therefore stigmatize certain sexual conduct as offending that moral code. But at the present day no such general code exists. There is no common view that sexual conduct of any kind between consenting adults is grossly immoral . . If it is right that there is now no generally accepted code of sexual morality applying to this case, it would be quite wrong in my judgment for any judge to apply his own personal moral views, however strongly held, in deciding the legal rights of the parties. The court's function is to apply the law, not personal prejudice. Only in a case where there is still a generally accepted moral code can the court refuse to enforce rights in such a way as to offend that generally accepted code."

Cases Cited:
Glyn -v- Weston Feature Film Co 1916 ([1916] 1 Ch 261)
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