University of Technology Sydney

76063 Media Law

Requisite(s): 70616 Australian Constitutional Law
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 77722 Media Law (PG) AND 78165 Media and Entertainment Law and Regulation AND 78166 Media and Entertainment Law and Regulation


This subject explores, analyses and evaluates certain legal restrictions on free speech affecting the media. Specifically, this subject targets the law of defamation, contempt, vilification (or hate speech), censorship (including obscenity, pornography and the National Classification Scheme), selected counter-terrorism measures and privacy (introductory aspects). These laws consist of a wide range of federal and state/territory laws, civil and criminal laws, legislation and common law. The fundamental question arising in each case is whether and, if so, to what extent, the law strikes an appropriate balance between free speech on the one hand and relevant competing interest(s) on the other.

Students examine the restrictions in operation through selected case studies, in the context of broader theoretical, constitutional and policy considerations as well as from different perspectives to develop a coherent understanding of their nature, scope and application as well as evaluate their effectiveness, appropriateness and serviceability. Students also identify emerging issues and challenges of regulating the media and free speech, notably those posed by online communication, and evaluate proposals for reform. Throughout the subject, students construct and communicate coherent and reasoned views and arguments to support their analyses and evaluation of the law, its operation and recommendations for reform.

Detailed subject description.

Fee information

Information to assist with determining the applicable fee type can be found at Understanding fees.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.