LAWS3221/JURD7421 Media Law: General Principles

Lecturer: Daniel Joyce

What is the course about?

The course covers the traditional principles associated with media law and considers the ways in which they might apply to new areas such as digital and social media, citizen media and the Internet.

Media law is a specialist subject, but broad in its scope. We examine the changing media law landscape, the interaction between human rights and the common law, and focus on the concepts of free speech, privacy, contempt and defamation. There are also international aspects to the course – media law has become relevant in the area of globalisation with the rise of the Internet.

Why does the subject interest you?

Media Law raises many significant questions regarding the media and its place in society and in the administration of justice.  The topics are interesting and important, including free speech, open justice, the protection of reputation, privacy and media ownership. Media law is an under-researched area, and hence there is a lot of scope for students to develop original research and thinking.  I enjoy teaching a class that draws on my own research expertise, but which is dynamic and ‘in the news’.

Do you have any advice to give students who are interested in taking this course?

The subject is suitable for open-minded, creative individuals who know how to situate legal problems – in particular, students who have an interest in the media, the administration of justice, free speech, defamation or simply the relationship between the law and technology will find this course especially appealing.  There is a mix of doctrinal and theoretical material.

How will this course be relevant, say, a year after graduating?

This course will be especially relevant for those wishing to practice in media law or law and technology-related fields.  It is also of interest to those considering a career in the media.

Given the significance of the media in our daily lives, the course raises themes and principles which will hopefully be of ongoing interest and utility to any engaged citizen and professional.