LAW30190 Media Law

Academic Year 2022/2023

This course deals with the main areas of law which affect the daily working of all media - the law of defamation, the law of contempt of court and the legal protection of privacy and confidential information and broadcasting and press regulation. It examines those principles and rules of defamation law that are specifically relevant to media defendants and principally the defences upon which such defendants may rely, taking a comparative approach, which is reflected in the assessment for this part of the module. The examination of the law of contempt of court and privacy is similarly focused on those aspects which relate to journalists, editors, publishers and broadcasters. In each area covered, there is an examination of the remedies available and of the relevant practice and procedure. The first half of the course, dealing with defamation, takes an approach which strongly emphasizes the comparison of the law in these areas across the common law world as a whole (apart, by in large, from the United States of America.)

In 2022/23 the module will be assessed by an essay outline (750 word limit, due in Week 6) 20% and a final essay (2,000 word limit, due in Week 12), 80%. There will be no end-of-semester examination.

Students may not register for this module without having completed or being currently registered for LAW10060 - Constitutional Rights and LAW10200 - Nominate Torts.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Students should be able to demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of the law (including its application in practice) relating to defamation, contempt of court, privacy and breach of confidence and broadcasting and press regulation, making appropriate reference to issues of proof and remedy. As part of the demonstration of knowledge, students should also be capable of identifying a number of leading cases in each area of the law covered and of giving a brief summary of what each case decided. Students should be able to demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of the specific ways in which the law in the areas studied is affected by constitutional and human rights guarantees, making appropriate references to case law and scholarship in these areas. Students should also be able to discuss whether the law on each of the topics covered, given reasoned and well-supported opinions as to whether the law requires legislative reform or reconsideration by the courts, particularly in the light of relevant constitutional and human rights standards.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The course will be taught through seminars based on preassigned reading. The seminars will be divided equally between student-led small group discussions of the readings and subsequent instructor-led whole class discussions of the same topics. The "feed forward" opportunity between the submission of the essay outline and the final essay offers a chance for students to learn from the response they get to their initial attempt at the main assessment task for the module. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Exclusions:

There are no exclusions for this module.

Learning Recommendations:

LAW10050 Constitutional Frameworks,
LAW10060 Constitutional Rights,
LAW10190 Negligence and Related Matters
LAW10200 Nominate Torts

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
LAW10060 - Constitutional Rights, LAW10200 - Nominate Torts

Media Law (LAW37190)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Essay Outline (750 words) Week 6 n/a Graded No


Essay: Final Essay (2,000 words) Week 12 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will receive feedback ("feed forward") on the essay outlines they present in advance of the submission of the final essay. General feedback will also be given to the class at this stage. Individual feedback will also be given on the final essays. The seminars provide the opportunity for students to give feedback to each other in the course of discussion.

Name Role
Dr Sarah Fulham-Mcquillan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr John O'Dowd Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 25 Thurs 11:00 - 11:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 11:00 - 12:50