Law of Freedom of Expression
The media industry is hugely important both in economic terms and in the social and political context. It is for these latter reasons that the guarantee of freedom of expression is viewed as fundamental. The media is at the same time an economic sector, and in its search for profits may not always respect the rights of others. The tensions at the heart of the media's dual aspect form the core of the issues in this course. Whilst looking specifically at an industry of significant economic import, questions relevant to other businesses (such as the extent to which businesses have rights; the extent to which they should respect the rights of others) are the focus of investigation.
The purpose of the module is to identify the scope of freedom of expression and the right to privacy and the particular conflicts between these rights, especially in the context of the mass media and new technologies. This is a comparative law module and will consider the nature of relevant international law obligations and how different countries deal with the challenges posed by these rights and how these rights might benefit and restrict the activities of the media. The countries under consideration are the USA, Germany and the UK.