Problems arose in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s relating
to espionage and secrecy, varying from the proven case of
spying by Geoffrey Prime at GCHQ, Cheltenham, to Peter
Wright and the notorious 'Spycatcher' trials. The latter
trials, which involved inter alia the Australian
courts, raised serious concerns about whether cases of
official secrecy are covered by the criminal law (that
is, the Official Secrets Acts) or the civil law (that
is, the law of confidentiality).
Espionage and Secrecy is concerned mainly with
the criminal law dealing with official secrecy. The
author explains in detail the Official Secrets Acts, in
order that threats to national security arising from
espionage and other leakages of information might be
better understood. She sets the UK Official Secrets Acts
in the context of other laws, such as the Security
Services Act of 1989. Whilst she highlights cases, such
as that of Geoffrey Prime at GCHQ, she also provides a
theoretical and conceptual analysis of the Official
Secrets law from 1911-1989, as well as making excursions
into the civil law of confidentiality, where relevant.
References are also made to other countries, for example,
the Walker spy ring in the United States, the case of
Hugh Hambleton in Canada, and the Peter Wright trials in
the Australian courts.
This prize-winning book is an invaluable guide to
professors and students of law, public administration and
related subjects; civil liberties; human rights; history;
work of scholarship...the author's book can well be
described, to date, as monumental and the last word".
The National Intelligence Study Center (USA)
Law: Public Administration: Public Policy: Political
Science: National Security: Civil Liberties: Sociology: