LAW4140 - Media law 2
6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL
Undergraduate Faculty of Law
Leader(s): Semester Two: Sharon Rodrick
Clayton Second semester 2009 (Day)
This unit considers why freedom of speech is important to the media and how it is protected in Australia. The unit also covers the three major restraints on freedom of speech; the law of defamation, the action for breach of confidence and laws that protect privacy, both incidentally and intentionally. These will be considered from the perspective of how these laws inhibit the media in the collection and dissemination of information. Due consideration will be given to whether an appropriate balance is struck between freedom of speech and other rights, such as the protection of reputation. Reform of the law will also be considered, particularly the need for uniform defamation laws.
By the end of this unit students should be familiar with the concept of freedom of speech and the way in which it is protected in Australia. They should be familiar with how laws pertaining to defamation, breach of confidence and privacy restrict free speech and control how the media collect and disseminate information. They should have developed their own opinions on whether the law has struck an appropriate balance between freedom of speech and other competing rights, such as the protection of reputation and the right to keep certain information confidential.
Research assignment (2500 words): 35%
Examination (2 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 65% OR Examination (3 hours writing time plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 100%
Three hours of lectures per week