LAW41150 Online Regulation

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module examines current issues in internet regulation. It considers the legal, regulatory and technical framework within which internet activities take place and examines how particular areas fit within that framework. It will assess the notion of the internet as a borderless space and will tackle the ways in which the law has responded to reassert jurisdictional boundaries. It will also examine the growth in technological responses (such as internet filtering) which may bypass the legal system. Areas of particular focus will include responses to domain name disputes, cybercrime, online harassment / defamation and filesharing.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completing this module students will be able to:

* Describe and critically assess the international and domestic legal framework within which internet regulation takes place, with special reference to European (E-Commerce Directive) and US (CDA and DMCA) legal norms;
* Describe and critically assess the application of the criminal law to cybercrime;
* Identify and discuss the particular issues presented by online defamation and harassment;
* Describe and discuss the use of technological responses as a means of enforcing legal norms online; and
* Identify and critically analyse wider trends in internet regulation which emerge from these areas.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module will include in class presentations by students using a Pecha Kucha format. 
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
Assignment: 2,500 word assignment Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Assignment: Take home examination 2,500 words Coursework (End of Trimester) 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
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will receive individual feedback on assignments and group feedback on the take home exam.

There is no single textbook for this course. The following books all have relevant material. Particularly useful items are marked with an asterix.

• *Brown (ed.), Research Handbook on Governance of the Internet (2013) (most chapters available on SSRN)
• Benkler, The Wealth of Networks (2006)
• *Edwards & Waelde (eds.), Law and the Internet (2009) (New edition due)
• Kelleher & Murray, Information Technology Law in Ireland (2nd ed., 2008)
• *Jorgensen (ed.), Human Rights in the Global Information Society (2006)
• Goldsmith & Wu, Who Controls the Internet? (2006)
• Murray, The Regulation of Cyberspace (2007)
• *Lessig, Code 2.0 (2006)
• *Zittrain, The Future of the Internet - and how to stop it (2008)
• *Deibert & Zittrain (ed.), Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering (2008)
• Deibert, Palfrey, Rohozinski and Zittrain (eds.), Access Controlled: The Shaping of Power, Rights and Rule in Cyberspace (2010)
• Wu, The Master Switch (2011)
• *Moller and Amouroux (eds.), The Media Freedom Internet Cookbook (2004)
• Marsden, Internet Co-Regulation: European Law, Regulatory Governance and Legitimacy in Cyberspace (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).
• Guadamuz, Networks, Complexity and Internet Regulation: Scale-Free Law (Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2011).
• *Kennedy and Murphy, Information and Communications Technology Law in Ireland (Dublin: Clarus Press, 2017)

Many of these – and numerous other useful books – are available for free online. Note that even if an edited collection is not available online, individual chapters are often available via SSRN or other repositories. The best way to search for a chapter is via Google Scholar -
Name Role
Mr Brian Hutchinson 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) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Tues 14:00 - 15:50