LAW4653 - Privacy and surveillance in an information age: Comparative law perspectives - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Quota applies

The number of places available for a unit taught in Prato is strictly limited to 45. This is the maximum room capacity at the Prato Centre.

Unit guides



  • Term 3 2017 (Day)


This unit will examine, from a comparative perspective, the legal and social issues relating to the protection of individual privacy against the state, the media, companies and other individuals. It will introduce students to comparative perspectives relating to the protection of privacy against intrusions and unauthorised disclosures, and relating to data privacy. In particular, the unit will focus on the challenges posed to privacy by new and emerging technologies. Case studies will be drawn from Australia, the UK, the European Union and the US.


At the successful completion of this Unit, students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse, from a comparative perspective, the law relating to the protection of privacy, demonstrating sophisticated awareness of the theoretical and policy concerns underpinning privacy law and of the privacy threats posed by new technologies;
  2. Demonstrate cognitive and creative skills in approaching complex legal and policy issues relating to the balance between the right to privacy and other rights and interests, including the right to freedom of expression;
  3. Communicate effectively and persuasively, including in advising on causes of action and remedies for invasions of privacy;
  4. Provide and make use of feedback to assess their own capabilities and performance and to support personal and professional development.


Attendance requirement: Students who fail to attend at least 80% of the classes in this unit (ie who miss 3 or more classes) will receive a result of 0 N for the unit. Students who are unable to meet this requirement due to severe illness or other exceptional circumstances must make an application for in-semester special consideration with supporting documentation.

Seminar and presentation assessment: 20% and take-home examination: 80%.

Workload requirements

Students are required to attend 36 hours of lectures over the duration of this semi-intensive unit

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

LAW1111; LAW1114; LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2112; LAW2111

For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015: LAW1100 OR LAW1101 or other introduction to law courses.


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later: LAW3111 and LAW3112


LAW7274 Privacy and surveillance: Law, policy and governance