LL423E      Half Unit
Media Law: Regulating Publication

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Andrew Scott CKK.6.25


This course is available on the Executive Master of Laws (ELLM). This course is not available as an outside option.

This course will be offered on the Executive LLM during the four year degree period. The Department of Law will not offer all Executive LLM courses every year, although some of the more popular courses may be offered in each year, or more than once each year. Please note that whilst it is the Department of Law's intention to offer all Executive LLM courses, its ability to do so will depend on the availability of the staff member in question. For more information please refer to the Department of Law website.

Course content

The course examines the legal and administrative regulation of mainstream media publication (principally the press, the broadcast media, and institutionalised Internet publication) and content issues on social media. The course is introduced with consideration of a number of themes that underpin the rest of the syllabus: the role(s) of the media and communication in society (including conceptions of the ‘public interest’); the main social, technological and regulatory influences that shape media publication practise, and rights jurisprudence (in particular, the freedom of expression and freedom of the press in national and international law). The course then examines potential restrictions on publication that are aimed at promoting or preserving specific private and/or public interests. The key private interests considered are those in reputation (defamation), privacy, and confidentiality. The key public interests considered are the integrity of the judicial process (contempt and reporting restrictions), the impartiality of political representations, the avoidance of offence (obscenity and religion), national security, and the protection of children.


24-26 hours of contact time.

Formative coursework

Students will have the option of producing a formative exam question of 2000 words to be delivered one month from the end of the module’s teaching session by email.

Indicative reading

Warby, Moreham and Christie (eds) Tugendhat and Christie: The Law of Privacy and the Media, (3rd edn, OUP, 2016), Parkes and Busutill (eds), Gatley on Libel and Slander (Sweet & Maxwell, 13th ed, 2022); Fenwick and Phillipson, Media Freedom Under the Human Rights Act (OUP, 2006); Robertson and Nicol, Media Law (Sweet & Maxwell, 5th ed 2007), Doley and Mullis (eds), Carter Ruck on Libel and Privacy (6th edn, Lexis Nexis, 2010),  Barendt, Freedom of Speech (OUP, 2nd ed 2005), Nicol, Millar and Sharland, Media Law and Human Rights (OUP, 2009); Cram, A Virtue Less Cloistered: Courts, Speech and Constitutions (Hart Publishing, 2002).


Assessment path 1
Essay (100%, 8000 words).

Assessment path 2
Take-home assessment (100%).

Key facts

Department: Law School

Total students 2022/23: Unavailable

Average class size 2022/23: Unavailable

Controlled access 2022/23: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills