LL4S1      Half Unit

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Andrew Murray

Other Staff Involved: Dr. Valerie Verdoodt


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Regulation and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course has a limited number of places and we cannot guarantee all students will get a place.


This course does not require an in-depth understanding of contemporary computer technology. 

Course content

This course examines and discusses topical issues in relation to the law and digital data information storage, access and exchange through digital information devices (computers, smartphones, tablets etc.). It opens by examining the issues relating to network regulation or control by addressing questions such as “can internet-enabled communications be regulated?” and “who is competent to police online content and activity?” It concludes its examination of structural controls by examining the highly topical and politically charged issues of platform regulation and enshrined network neutrality: by asking the question: should Platforms or Internet Service Providers be allowed to vary service conditions by types of content? It will also address cutting edge issues such as algorithmic regulation, online harms, deceptive content, protection of children, influencer and advertiser regulation and the regulation of AI and Machine Learning.

Students taking the course will be expected to develop knowledge and understanding of the different values brought to bear in the regulation of new media technologies and communities formed through such technologies and the factors leading towards choices of particular values, regulatory institutions and process. Such knowledge and understanding will operate both at the theoretical level and the level of particular examples of regulatory regimes. Students will be expected to apply organisational and analytical skills to the investigation of evidence and problems and show effective communication through written work and seminar discussion. Students shall research an assessed extended essay.


This course will have two hours of teaching content each week in Michaelmas Term, either in the form of a two hour seminar or an online lecture and one hour class. There will be a Reading Week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.

Formative coursework

Students should submit an essay plan and working bibliography for the assessed essay. All students are expected to contribute to a series of class and online exercises, and to submit one 2,000 word formative essay.

Indicative reading

  • Murray, Information Technology Law: The Law and Society (OUP, 4th ed, 2019)
  • Edwards (ed), Law, Policy and the Internet (Hart, 2018)
  • Reed & Murray, Rethinking the Jurisprudence of Cyberspace (Edward Elgar, 2020)
  • Frank Pasquale: New Laws of Robotics: Defending Human Expertise in the Age of AI (Belknap, 2020)
  • Murray, The Regulation of Cyberspace (Routledge, 2007)
  • Reed, Making Laws for Cyberspace (OUP, 2012)
  • Lessig, Code Ver, 2.0 (Basic Books, 2006)


Essay (100%, 8000 words) in the ST.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2020/21: 51

Average class size 2020/21: 13

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills