Freedom of Expression
The course will explore the common law beginnings of freedom of expression; trial by jury, the open justice principle, the rule against prior restraint and freedoms from governmental interference. In addition, an examination of the recent legal changes on the law of “blasphemy” and its effect on freedom of expression will be examined.
This much underdeveloped area of law will examine both the Irish and English contexts to include an examination of malicious falsehood, harassment, press complaints commission and the right to respect for private and family life.
This will encompass a review of the new Defamation Act 2009 – focusing on the revised elements, new defences, and the issue of lodgements and survival of actions.
Here we will look at access to the courts, reporting restrictions, committal proceedings and the courts and the courts and television. Students will also examine official secrets and the protection of journalist sources.
Contempt of Court
Students for this section of the course will be exposed to strict liability contempt to include risk of prejudice, active proceedings and media defences as well as intentional contempt.
This area of the course will look at the creation of a copyright work, literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works as well as authorship, infringements, performing and broadcasting and adapting.
Censorship laws in Ireland – past and present perspectives; censorship and constitutional rights in a modern republic such as impact on fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of thought etc; the necessity to censor? Censorship law – landmarks and reform.
Here the age of convergence will be examined, the freedom to broadcast and finally codes of practice in this area and enforcing such codes will be examined.
Entertainment Contract Law
General principles of formation, discharge and restraint of trade/ exclusivity clauses will be reviewed.