Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module LAW54215: Introduction to Media Freedom under the Human Rights Act

Department: Law

LAW54215: Introduction to Media Freedom under the Human Rights Act

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap
Tied to


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • to provide a critical study of the impact of the Human Rights Act on media freedom.


  • Free Speech theories: the intention is to examine critically the main free speech theories and their implications for the rights and responsibilities of the media;
  • Consideration of the Human Rights Act and its particular application to the media;
  • Consideration of the Strasbourg jurisprudence applied domestically, including assessment of the underlying principles; differentials in terms of speech protection (political/artistic/commercial speech); comparisons; English common law; Germany, Canada, USA (especially the latter), ICCPR;
  • Methods of asserting rights to privacy against the media: the Strasbourg approach; comparisons with the US and the Canadian approaches.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
Subject-specific Skills:
Key Skills:

    Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

    • Through an in-depth knowledge of the relevant domestic and Convention provisions.
    • By allowing students to develop a critical understanding of the theories underpinning media freedom and of their recognition within the provisions and jurisprudence studied.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    Seminars 8 Weekly with 2 reading weeks. 2 16
    Preparation and Reading 134
    Total 150

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Unseen written examination Component Weighting: 100%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Unseen written examination. 2 hour 100%

    Formative Assessment:

    One assignment of approximately 2,000 words in Michaelmas Term.

    Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University