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Identity And Access To Information Important To One’s Identity

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Chapter Summary

In 1997, David Feldman, reflecting on the case of Gaskin v UK commented that the case created a right not to be deprived of ones personal history. This chapter examines the Courts case law on matters involving access to information on ones childhood and ones origins. The case law, although deciding in favour of forms of personal freedom as self-determination, veers towards a sense of freedom as self-realisation and ideas of authenticity. Here personal freedom is said to arise when one is reconciled with ones, perhaps pre-determined, core essence, through some sort of process of self-discovery. In particular, in Odievre, the dissenting opinion highlights a self-realisation version that is potentially restrictive of the formation of personal freedom. This is especially evident when considering the rights and freedoms of others, specifically the woman who gave birth in this case.

Keywords: Gaskin v UK; personal freedom; personal identity; self-determination; self-realisation



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