units

LAW4140

Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

LevelUndergraduate
FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2014

Synopsis

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.

Outcomes

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.

Assessment

Written assignment (1500 words): 30% and final written examination (3 hours plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 70% OR final written examination (3 hours plus 30 minutes reading and noting time): 100%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Three hours of lectures per week

Prerequisites

LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104