Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2015


Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.


This unit investigates four main topics from a United Kingdom, European, Australian and, to a lesser extent, a United States' perspective. The first topic is media regulation, which covers the rationales for differing regulation of broadcasting, the press and private speech and the reasons for mass media law. The second topic focuses on defamation and freedom of speech, including political, commercial and religious speech and obscenity. The third topic deals with privacy and the press. The final topic investigates some advanced issues, including broadcasting regulation, the Internet and its relationship to privacy and freedom of expression, and media pluralism. Particular attention will be paid throughout the course to the Leveson, Finkelstein and Convergence Inquiries.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • demonstrate a deep understanding of the competing philosophical perspectives on the application of law to mass media across a number of jurisdictions;
  • investigate, analyse and synthesise complex theories, concepts, information and problems in relation to media law from a comparative perspective;
  • demonstrate an applied knowledge of: the concept of mass media, the solution to liability concerns for different categories of publishers and authors, and the comparative enforcement of laws pertaining to defamation and privacy;
  • conduct research in media law based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods; and
  • use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to media law.


One research assignment (3,750 words): 50%
One take-home examination (3,750 words): 50%

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per teaching period (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)