This is a paper about public nudity. It asks: what, if anything, is the problem with public nudity? In a number of jurisdictions, public nudity is conceived of as problematic in some way: a conception that is reflected in and reinforced by restrictions that are put in place in relation to it. The purpose of this paper is to examine, through the lens of the right to freedom of expression, examples of these different restrictions, their underlying constructions of ‘the public’, and the broader legal discourse surrounding public nudity through the lens of the right to freedom of expression. Drawing on a number of case studies from different jurisdictions it makes a case for the treatment of public nudity as a form of expression, and suggests that portrayals of a tension between public nudity and freedom of expression are a product of a problematic and unstable construction of ‘the public’.
We look forward to welcoming you on July 3-5, 2023 for our Annual Conference entitled "Islands and Ocean: Public Law in a Plural World." The conference will take place at the Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. We will be announcing more details about the conference soon, including financial support to early career and global south scholars!