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Privacy and the Media - JURD7433
 Law Books

Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  School of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 2
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: Academic Program JD (9150) Co: JURD7211
Excluded: LAWS8033
Fee Band: 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


This course is concerned with the emerging law of privacy as it relates to the media (traditional mass media and newer electronic technologies of communication), and the intersection between privacy and freedom of speech. The course begins with a consideration of European and UK jurisprudence (shaped by the European Convention on Human Rights) and US jurisprudence (shaped by the First Amendment to the US Constitution). It then focuses on the extent to which this overseas jurisprudence has impacted on the law, and law reform options, in Australia.

LLM Specialisation

Media, Communications and Information Technology Law.

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

Overall, the aim of the course is to acquaint you with:
  • The general principles and some of the legal intricacies in each of the topics
  • The thematic links between them
  • Some aspects of their operation in practice
  • Some historical, comparative and policy aspects

Main Topics

  • Free speech and the media
  • Protection of reputation: Introduction
  • The plaintiff's case in defamation
  • Defences to defamation
  • Remedies for defamation
  • Further protection of reputation
  • Particular issues relevant to defamation and the internet
  • Protection of privacy
  • Reform of defamation and privacy laws


Research essay 5,000 - 7,5000 words 60%
Take-home assignment 1,500 - 2,500 words 30%
Class participation  Preparation and engagement in class 10%

Course Texts


  • Michael Gillooly, The Law of Defamation in Australia and New Zealand (Federation Press, 1998); or
  • Sally Walker, Media Law: Commentary and Materials (LBC, 2000)
  • The Law School Materials and Cases will consitute the principal reading. Course materials are available for purchase from the UNSW Bookshop. One page guides indicating the most important readings will be distributed in class.
  • M Armstrong, D Lindsay & R Watterson, Media Law in Australia, (3rd ed, 1995) L/KN340/A9/2 - this is useful introductory reading
  • J G Fleming, The Law of Torts (9th ed, 1998) L/KN30 - the chapter on defamation and the section on injurious falsehood are useful
  • T K Tobin and M G Sexton (eds) Australian Defamation Law and Practice Service, 1991 (with updates) (Law Library Reserve) L/KN38.21/T1/1 - this is the specialist loose-leaf digest


Please refer to course outline provided by lecturer.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.