Activities undertaken in the public interest are those which are designed to be positively beneficial either for the public generally, or for a number or group of members of the public.
Many not-for-profit organisations are established in the public interest.
For example, the Association of Corporate Treasurers is established to:
- To set the benchmark for treasury excellence
- Provide qualifications for those working professionally in the fields of treasury, risk and corporate finance
- Promote best practice
- Define and maintain standards and support the continuing professional development of its members
- And so to promote the public interest.
Acting in the public interest also means avoiding harm to:
- The environment
- Other stakeholders and
- All other members of the public sphere
There is a public interest in preventing and deterring terrorism and other criminal activities.
For this reason private rights and interests can be limited by states and other authorities in the public interest of preventing terrorism.