LAWS 3049 Media Law

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 200661

Coordinator Sarah Hook Opens in new window

Description This subject examines various aspects of the laws that regulate the media. The central content of the subject consists of defamation, contempt, privacy and surveillance and a selection of other laws impacting upon this industry. Throughout the subject we will also explore two key themes. The first is whether, as a question of policy, current legal restrictions to media freedom appropriately balance the protection of free speech with various other interests, including protection of reputation, personal privacy and the effective administration of justice. The second theme asks whether media laws that were developed to regulate traditional mass-media organisations apply to individuals who publish their own content online, particularly via social media, and, if so, whether this application is appropriately balanced. Analysis of the application of existing media law principles to a range of new technologies will be featured throughout the subject.

School Law

Discipline Law, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Pre-requisite(s) LAWS 2013 AND
LAWS 2008

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Accurately explain the principles, statutes, case law and selected policy aspects in each of the main areas of study, being defamation, contempt, privacy and prohibited publications
  2. Analyse the impact of new technologies on traditional concepts of media law and policy
  3. Demonstrate enhanced legal writing and reasoning skills, effective research strategies and an appreciation of current issues in media law
  4. Apply media law concepts covered in the subject to analysing and solving practical problems
  5. Use oral persuasion and legal reasoning skills as well as drafting skills for court documents and courtroom etiquette.

Subject Content

  1. Defamation
  2. Contempt of Court
  3. Privacy
  4. Offensive publications
  5. Media and National Security
  6. Regulation and Media
  7. Bla(c)k Lives Matter- the role of the media in race relations


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Reflection On-going 20 N Individual
Professional Task 1 hour group oral presentation 35 N Group/Individual
Final Exam 24 hours 45 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Sharon Rodrick et al, Australian Media Law (6th ed, Thomson Reuters, 2021)

Structures that include subject