LAWS 7076 Media Law

Credit Points 10

Coordinator Sarah Hook Opens in new window

Description This subject analyses various aspects of the laws that regulate the media. The content of the subject includes defamation, contempt, privacy and surveillance and a selection of other laws impacting upon the media industry. It explores 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. Students will engage in professional learning activities to demonstrate their application of this body of law in practice.

School Law

Discipline Law, Not Elsewhere Classified.

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Pre-requisite(s) LAWS 7072 AND LAWS 7057

Incompatible Subjects LAWS 3049


Must be enrolled in the 2826 Juris Doctor program.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this subject, students will be able to: 

  1. Evaluate the principles, statutes, case law and selected policy aspects in each of defamation, contempt, privacy and prohibited publications
  2. Critically analyse the impact of new technologies on traditional concepts of media law and policy
  3. Apply enhanced legal communication and reasoning skills and effective research strategies to an understanding of current issues in media law
  4. Apply media law concepts to solve practical problems
  5. Demonstrate oral persuasion, legal reasoning and drafting skills to the preparation of court documents and courtroom etiquette

Subject Content

  • Defamation
  • Contempt of Court
  • Privacy
  • Offensive publications
  • Media and National Security
  • Regulation and Media
  • Case study: 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 1,500 words or equivalent 20 N Individual
Professional Task 1 hour 35 N Group/Individual
Essay 3,000 words 45 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

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

Structures that include subject