LAW37700 Internet Law and Regulation

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module introduces the key aspects of internet law and regulation from an Irish and European perspective. Topics covered will include e-commerce, platform regulation, intermediary liability, cybercrime and data protection.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students will be able to:

* Describe the main legal rules and non-statutory regulations which shape the conduct of internet business and users in Ireland.
* Discuss and critically assess the way in which internet regulation has developed at a national and European level.
* Assess factual situations relating to internet use, identify relevant legal rules, and advise on the rights and liabilities arising out of those situations.

Indicative Module Content:

The main issues that will be covered in this module include:

• The importance of the internet in modern society, in terms of the free flow of information, the conducting of business, and the assertion of fundamental rights such as freedom of expression.

• The operations of the main internet platforms such as internet services providers (email hosts, domain name registration, internet access providers), e-commerce platforms (online marketplace, auction sites, payment systems), participative networking platforms (social media, video-sharing and blogging platforms), and internet search engines. The key pieces of legislation governing these platforms will be examined, their liability for the content they host, and developing plans to impose further regulation at both domestic and international level.

• Harmful speech online, and the specific issues pertaining to defamation, harassment and hate speech online. This will include a look behind the media headlines concerning such recurring topics as “revenge porn”, “cancel culture” and “fake news”, and a detailed consideration of the legal principles pertaining to each.

• The scope of Data Protection law, the main provisions of the GDPR, and the parameters and emerging case law of the “Right to be Forgotten”.

• How the internet has changed the way we work and conduct commercial transactions, and the law concerning online advertising, online reviews and the “gig economy”.

• The challenges to intellectual property rights created by the internet, including large scale copyright violations, trade-mark appropriation in online advertising, and domain name disputes.

• The prosecution of cybercrime such as hacking, fraud and sexual offences.

• How the internet has affected court procedures, including the introduction of remote hearings, the use of evidence from social media platforms, and the challenges of preventing contempt of court via the internet.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This class will be taught using a mix of lectures, problem-based learning and blended learning. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Project: Group project: Groups will make a short presentation in week 7 on a recent case, assessing its context, findings and significance Week 7 n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Assignment: End of trimester assignment, maximum 3,000 words. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


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

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be available on a group basis after assessment, including discussion of points which students were expected to cover in answering the topics set.

Name Role
Michael O'Doherty 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) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 16:00 - 17:50