LAW4677 - International information and media law - 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.



Not offered in 2017


Information and media content are potentially ubiquitous, whereas regulation, culture and context are generally not. This makes conflicts between different regulatory schemes inevitable. The conventional legal solutions of resolving jurisdictional conflicts, which have been designed for an offline world, are not sufficient to deal with the problems of the information age. The unit will survey the legal and regulatory approaches currently operating to resolve conflicts in the global exchange of information and media content. The different legal domestic approaches, and their interrelationship with emerging regional governance structures, will be critically examined.

In the first part, the existing concepts of conflicts of law will be analysed and specific approaches (cyber law, setting of international standards, global media governance etc.) will be discussed, including the international institutions (WRC, ITU, ICANN) and dispute resolution fori (WTO, WIPO).

The second part of the unit will explore the human rights context. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and of the media generally, can clash with other human rights such as privacy, data protection, and personality rights. Even though human rights are universal, the way conflicting human rights are balanced will reflect the cultural context and diversity of legal systems.

The third part will shift the focus to the media and information industry. Media content and information must also be seen from a business perspective and, when disseminated across borders, have regard to international business law. Intellectual property and international trade agreements are important levers for the protection of local culture and other domestic interests.

The fourth and final part will deal with information-related crimes, such as copyright violations, propaganda, pornography and child abuse, as well as with information warfare.


On completion of this unit, a student should be able to:

  1. Identify, articulate and evaluate conflicts in the regulation of cross-border media activity and of other information flows as well as the relevance of cultural context and diversity in such conflicts;
  2. Distinguish and evaluate different types of conflicts and regimes according to the technological context;
  3. Critically assess relevant policies and principles, including regulatory strategies and mechanisms, at international, regional and domestic level;
  4. Demonstrate intellectual and creative skills to research, interpret and synthesise relevant legal and policy responses, and to apply them to factual problems involving cross-border media activity and information flows;
  5. Communicate effectively and persuasively, both orally and in writing, on issues of international media and information laws; and
  6. Reflect on and assess their own capabilities and performance, and make use of feedback on their classroom performance to support personal and professional development.


  1. Class participation: 10%
  2. Presentation in class: 10%
  3. Written submission (1,000 words): 20%
  4. Take Home Examination (3,000 words): 60%

Workload requirements

Students will be required to attend 36 hours of class, and undertake approximately an additional 108 hours of private study, including reading, class preparation, assignment preparation and revision time over the duration of the unit.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015:

LAW1101 Introduction to legal reasoning and LAW1104 Research and writing

For students enrolled in the LLB (Honours) course from 2015:

LAW1111 Foundations of law, LAW1112 Public law and statutory interpretation, LAW1113 Torts, LAW1114 Criminal law 1, LAW2101 Contract A, LAW2102 Contract B, LAW2111 Constitutional law and LAW2112 Property A

For other students:

Equivalent introductory units from another university


For LLB (Honours) students only:

LAW3111 Equity and LAW3112 Corporations law