• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course will consider legal and policy developments in media and communications law. 

Principal topics include:

  • Media Regulators - particularly the Australian Communications and Media Authority
  • The Regulation of the Press
  • The Regulation of Radio and Television broadcasting
  • - particularly cross-media and foreign ownership
  • The Regulation of Telecommunications and Broadband
  • The Regulation of the Internet and Social Networking Services
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Defamation Law
  • Strategic Legal Action against Public Partipation
  • Contempt of Court
  • Reporting of Court Proceedings
  • Reporting of Parliamentary Proceedings
  • Journalists' Shield Laws and Whistleblowing
  • Classification and Censorship
  • Blasphemy and Religious Vilification
  • Obscenity
  • Hate Speech
  • Sedition and Terrorism
  • Internet Filtering
  • Confidential Information
  • Privacy Law
  • The Do Not Call Register
  • Anti-Spam Legislation

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

This course considers the legal regulation of media ownership and communications content.  It is expected that students will on the completion of the course have:

  • An awareness of the regulation of the media industry;
  • An understanding of the major areas of law regulating media content;
  • An ability to solve legal problems involving media and communications law;
  • An awareness of problems which are developing in relation to particular fields of the media industry, and emerging technologies;
  • A critical approach to evaluating new developments in respect of media and communications law; and
  • An appreciation of theoretical concerns about freedom of speech, the operation of democratic institutions, censorship, and privacy.

Other Information

Click here for fee and census date information

Indicative Assessment

It is expected the course would have three pieces of assessment:

  • Seminar presentation (day 3 of the intensive teaching period)
    Time: 8 to 11 minutes;
    Word Length: 1,500 - 2,000 words (20%);
  • Compulsory Research Essay (due 22 October 2010)
    Word Length: 3,000 - 4,000 words (60%)
  • Compulsory Opinion-Editorial (due 22 October 2010)
    Word Length: 1,500 - 2,000 words (20%)

Students must rely on the Approved Assessment which will be posted to the course homepage on the ANU Law website, prior to the commencement of the course.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Students are expected to read the prescribed texts, prior to the teaching period.

The course will be taught in intensive mode, over a period of four days. It will involve 26 hours of direct contact.

Students are expected to prepare an oral presentation to deliver during the intensive teaching period.

Students will need to devote time to the preparation and execution of the research assignment, after the intensive teaching period.

Click here for the 2010 timetable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be enrolled in the Graduate Certificate of Law (CLAW) and have completed or be completing LAWS8586 Law and Legal Institutions. OR Be in enrolled in: Master of International Law (7310XMINTL), Master of Environmental Law (7309XMENVL), Master of Law, Governance & Development (7317XMLGD), Master of International Security Law (7318XMISL), Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313XMGCL), Master of Legal Studies (7305XMLEGS).

Prescribed Texts

David Rolph, Matt Vitins and Judith Bannister, Media Law: Cases, Materials and Commentary, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 2010.


Yochai Benkler, The Wealthy of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedoms. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2006 http://www.benkler.org/Benkler_Wealth_of_Networks.pdf (available as a free download under a Creative Commons licence)

Preliminary Reading

The preliminary reading required for this course will be available from the course home page at least one week prior to the commencement of the course.

Assumed Knowledge

The course does not have any particular pre-requisites. It is intended to appeal to both legal professionals, as well as policy-makers and government officials, journalists, public relations practitioners, and other members of the media industry.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $2958
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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